Originally posted on Wicked and wild, it's a nature blog:

Week eight was all about new ideas. Spurred on by encouragements from the new Area Manager for North Devon, the West Exmoor team had a big ol’ brainstorming session about how to engage with visitors more in the Heddon Valley. Loads of great ideas were flying about the room including trailer tractor rides, art and photography exhibitions, woodland play area and a wildlife sightings report board. Hopefully we’ll get some of these projects started whilst we volunteers are still here.

We also started the work in Barton Wood, a patch of beech woodland just up the valley from Watersmeet. I mentioned why we were doing this in an earlier blog post but to quickly recap….. Barton wood was planted in the 1950s as a cash crop to be felled for timber but never was. If you look at the wood today you will notice that the trees are in straight…

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Christmas Wreath making at Georgeham School


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These pictures are of our latest and last of this years activities with Georgeham School.
The 20 or so wreaths were made by year groups 1 and 2 and were put on display on the end of the pews as part of the Christmas servicies at Georgeham Church.
As part of our what was once called “Guardianship School links”, we either go into the school or get the school out and about in the great outdoors. This year we have met up with the School 5 times and provided them with some really diverse experiences that have included several trips to Arlington Court where they learnt about woodlands and had pizza and wild play at the Hideaway and also studied Natural Art and did some den building. Some year groups went walling up on Woolacombe down and some went and did a mega litter pick and played games on Woolacombe beach with the Georgaham’s affiliated School in Bristol-Eastern.
Merry Christmas
Executive Christmas Sprit Spreading Ranger
Stuart

Culm Conservation


Here at Brownsham we care for the largest area of Culm Grassland owned by the National Trust. Culm Grasslands are wet, acidic, grazing pastures which have developed over the geological formations of sandstones and shales known as Culm Measures.

With the weather having been dry the last couple of weeks and crisp mornings the ground was dry enough to get our tractor in to cut some of the willow and soft rush re-growth. We also tackled some of the gorse re-growth with the help of Rob Joules (General Manager). The Culm meadows are looking really good especially with the introduction of Highland Cattle this year from our new tenant at Lower Brownsham Farm.

Check out the Photos!

Luke Johns

Seasonal Ranger – Torridge

Not mushroom for error, Chainsaw training and more fungi!


juliangurney:

Our volunteers learn the correct and safe way to use chain saws.

Originally posted on Wicked and wild, it's a nature blog:

I missed out on week 6 at the National Trust as I went on holiday to Fuertaventura. I came back revitalised and ready for week 7 and my chainsaw training course. It was a four day LANTRA integrated assessment course run by Kensey training. It all kicked off on Tuesday so Monday was spent walking through the woods to visit a site that is scheduled to be felled.

Barton Wood near Watersmeet is a section of woodland dominated by Beech, it was planted as a cash crop in the 1950s but never felled. If you take a walk through there you will notice that the Beech trees are all in straight lines, a tell-tale sign of the woods origins. Now Barton Wood is beautiful, beech trees do put on a fantastic display of autumnal colours but they are also not native to Exmoor and outcompete our native broadleaved trees. They…

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Woolsery Christmas Fayre


On Sunday 30th November, Justin and I attended this year’s fayre held at Woolsery School. With Christmas music playing in the background we got in the festive spirit. We made willow Christmas trees and stars, and of course decorated with lots of glitter and glue. We also had badge making on offer which proved a popular choice!

Luke Johns

Seasonal Ranger – Torridge

Ranger Club wraps up for Christmas


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This terms weather has allowed us to have some amazing Ranger club activities that have included den building, wild cooking- pancake making, wood carving, bows and arrows, tree climbing and hide and seek in the sand dunes of Woolacombe Warren.

The School children are almost Harry Potterized entering into an exciting adventurous world of a Junior Ranger. Though all the once weekly activities are supervised, the children are encouraged to have fun and let off steam after a long day at school, but occasionally Ranger Josh, who set up the club with Woolacombe School with the help of me and Ranger Rob, have to rain in excitement which believe me is tricky when you have groups of between 6 and 16 of 8 years of age.

Stuart Ayres
Executive Deputy Ranger Club Captain.

Keeping traditions alive…


juliangurney:

More news from Kate as she and our other volunteers visit colleagues at Woolacombe and Hartland for some training in ditch walling and hedge laying

Originally posted on Wicked and wild, it's a nature blog:

A full on training week, we were signed up for a two day course in dry stone walling followed by a two day course in hedgelaying.

The stone walling was with the ranger team at Woolacombe, Rob was leading the course with help from Josh. They both taught us a lot about the art of building a top quality stone wall. We started with dismantling the wall, during which time I released a rather crazed side of my personality and started hammering at the wall with a mattock. I helped take the wall down quite quickly on the one side, the speed was probably mostly down to Rob, and then I hopped over the other side to help Harry. Harry was taking it down very methodically and neatly and looked on with horror as I smashed at it with the mattock. By hook or by crook the wall did come…

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