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Looking Deeper into the Water of the Teign

For those of us fortunate enough to walk along the banks of the River Teign in Fingle Woods, we can admire the beauty of the rippling water; clean and sparkling as it bustles along its tree lined channel. We can enjoy the sight and sound of the fresh water tumbling down the small gullies, carrying…

Walking with Purpose

We are sitting on a track in the sun in a part of Fingle Woods I have never explored before. All morning we have been working in the shade of the trees and my ankles (bad choice of clothing yet again) are scratched from pushing through bracken and brambles. Our task, one that we and…

Fingle larch

Caught on Camera – A Year of Change

A lot has changed at Fingle Woods over the last year and, to capture the progress, Tom Williams has been filming from his Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (that’s a drone to most of us!) over Halls Cleave again. One of the most dramatic changes in the landscape was the sudden clear felling of around 13 hectares…

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…

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