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Spring Soundscapes at Fingle

At 5 a.m. on a cool, fresh May morning the wonderful Fingle wildlife can bring all your senses into sharp focus. Before the sun reaches the muted colours of the landscape around Ross Meadow at the furthest end of Cod Wood, the sounds and smells of a spring morning are more defined than any other…

Fingle Woods birds

Dipping into the Breeding Bird Survey

Once again, the yearly survey of breeding bird territories throughout Fingle Woods has been completed and the results have shown how populations of different species fluctuate, follow national trends or react to the changes in the woods. The main purpose of the annual survey is to provide evidence to show where and how the woodland…

Building a butterfly baseline

We have been monitoring butterflies in the woods since 2015 to find out more about what’s there, and see what effect the conservation work is having. Butterflies vary a lot from year to year; change can only be detected by recording consistently over a number of years.  So we have established a standard recording route,…

Barbastelle bat in Fingle Woods

Going Batty

This week Dr Matt Zeale and Andy Carr from the University of Bristol are returning to Fingle to continue their bat survey. Back in June I was lucky enough to join them for the first of four evenings of detecting and trapping…   Though it was only late afternoon, as we assembled at the Fingle…

Fingle Woods summer

Summer at Fingle – Looking for Lammas

Once the colourful flourish of spring wildflowers is over, the woodland takes on every hue of green as summer establishes itself. The annual race for the available sunlight has been won by the tall trees of the canopy and the browned stems of the once glorious bluebells stand in the shade cast across the woodland…

A sabre wasp in Fingle Woods

Fingle – the curiously unusual.

So often when I work around Fingle it’s easy for the eye to be drawn to a view, a cluster of trees caught in the sunlight, or the sound of the bird song drifting across the hush of conifer. Sometimes it’s all too easy to overlook the small things, the everyday that your mind may…

Fingle Woods

Surround Sound III: What Time Do You Call?

It’s 4 a.m. Standing high on Wooston hillfort in the still night air. The full face of the moon picks out the trees on the crest of the Fingle gorge. It’s magical. Not a breeze or a rustle disturbs the meditative silence until a tawny owl reminds me of where I am. Stirring myself, I…

6 things to look out for this May

1) Bluebells Let’s start with the obvious one for this time of year. Showy, brash, iridescent and downright unmistakable, swathes of bluebells carpet our woodland floor at this time of year. It’s always interesting to see how pockets of bluebells come out at different times of the year regionally and locally. For instance, the Warreners…

Surround Sound II: Wood-be Winter Heroes

The Dartmoor winter hasn’t quite left us but spring hasn’t quite begun either. There are some clues of the shift in the seasons around Fingle Woods in early March and, last week, Tom Williams took his sound equipment out again to record the maturing soundscape of the woodland around the Teign valley. Walking around the…

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