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Going Over Old Ground

Heavy horses have once again been proving their worth in the woodland restoration at Dartmoor’s Fingle Woods. Since the Woodland Trust and National Trust took over the site four years ago, local timber logging horses have demonstrated how, by using traditional methods of woodland management, the gradual restoration of coniferous woodlands can be done in…

Sharing Woodland Restoration Expertise

Assessment Training for Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites Over two autumnal days in November, the Woodland Trust hosted two training sessions on key techniques for the assessment and management of Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS). Dartmoor’s Fingle Woods is a good example of a PAWS restoration site and woodland managers and conservation advisers from…

A season in the life of an ancient boundary volunteer

November 2nd was the end of the ‘Ancient Boundary Season’. We all gathered in the Fingle Bridge Inn for a Thursday evening lecture where Alex Hamer, the intern who had led the surveying across the summer and autumn, summarised the work we had been doing and presented some preliminary findings. As many of you will…

The Missing Link – re-routing a forestry track

During the summer, a re-routed forest track has been constructed at Fingle Woods, looping round a spruce and Douglas fir plantation near Clifford Bridge. This part of the wood is often referred to as Hall’s Cleave, and the track is one of the important bits of forest infrastructure, linking up Cod Wood in the east…

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…

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