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Fingle dor beetle

A Brighter Future

The long-term plan for the ecological future of Fingle Woods began a few years ago. Teams of woodland ecologists and volunteers walked the woods, studying each and every patch of planted conifer along with the remnants of ancient woodland. As they searched the ground, the wild flowers and herbs were recorded, providing a benchmark of…

Restoration, demonstration and discussion…

Last week  saw a visit from the Forestry Commissions’ West England Forest District.  The team from West England and there colleagues are responsible for the management of the public forest estate from the Forest of Dean to the far West of Cornwall.   The visit was focused around the range of restoration activity at Fingle undertaken in recent…

River bank repair at Fingle Woods

River Bank Repair – A Bit of a Rush

Early in 2016 an oak tree on the river bank was uprooted by raised water levels and high winds. The tree fell and the stem and branches were cut and winched away, leaving the stump and roots at the edge of the river. By Dartmoor standards, the summer was relatively dry but, during the autumn,…

Holding tanks and penstock sluice controls

Water Power!

If any of you have walked a mile or so up the Teign from Fingle Bridge, away from Fingle Woods and onto the Castle Drogo Estate, you may have come across the weir which lies beneath Castle Drogo.  You may have watched salmon leaping up the weir in the autumn, usually a day or two…

Oak on the bank

A Thin Black Line – The Renovation of an Ancient Boundary

While the winter felling programme is methodically extracting lines of heavy weight timber from the large plantations of Douglas fir, some small teams of contractors are at work felling trees, a few at a time to make space for some gnarled old oaks to recover. Networks of old boundary walls and banks weave their way…

Bronze age horses!

The Boys Are Back … in the Bronze Age

Before the main timber extraction starts at Wooston hillfort, heavy horses Beano and his companion William are keeping busy at the recently rediscovered Bronze Age hut circle platform. To allow the archaeologists to have a closer look at the ancient site the conifer stems in and around the hut circle need to be felled and…

Wooston Castle

Tied Together in Time (Wooston Restoration diary part 1)

September’s Fingle lecture began in warm evening sunshine on top of the magnificent Iron Age hillfort, known on the map as Wooston Castle. Though not a true castle, the impressive ramparts and vantage point in the Teign gorge provide a clue about its strategic position, standing on a promontory high above the river. Further along…

Restoration of Ross Meadow in Cod Wood

A lot can change in a year, and Ross Meadow at the eastern end of Cod Wood is almost unrecognisable from 12 months ago. Last summer the crescent shaped meadow had just been cleared of Douglas fir, birch scrub and fenced to allow a small herd of cattle to graze but, at the time, the…

Saving Castle Drogo

A reminder about this month’s Fingle lecture this Thursday 7 July at 7pm. Saving Castle Drogo… Paula Clarke, Community Engagement Officer at Castle Drogo, will share a brief history of how we came to have such a modern castle on Dartmoor and the long battle against the elements. You will also hear all the latest news about the…

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