New England Wood

New England Wood is Devon Wildlife Trust’s newest reserve, rescued from development by local campaigning. It could have looked like this desolate area nearby: Instead it is a beautiful haven for birds and wildflowers. There were flocks of redwings and some marsh tits. Sitting by the River Yealm, it is hard to believe that the…

Snow and spring

  There was snow in Sheffield last weekend but back in Devon it feels like spring, with celandines, saxifrage, ivy-leaved speedwell and new growth of English stonecrop in the walls.   Frogs have been busy in the pools by Ludbrook and there are bright green new leaves of lesser spearwort under the flowing water of the brook.


Off to Ivybridge via the moor. This has to be the best walk to the shops. Along Leigh Lane, shade-loving wood sorrel is just opening and there are new marsh violets unfolding in the bogs near the Lud brook. The sunshine brings out the vivid reds, greens and yellows of the moss. The mysterious hole, with some new scratches nearby….

White violets

All along the southern verge of Bittaford Road, from Bittaford to the station, there are big clumps of sweet violets. All are white rather than purple. There is also a cowslip. At White Oxen, some purple violets (common dog violets), red dead-nettle, and carpets of golden saxifrage and barren strawberries. Also two fallow deer and a…

March inventory

Linda lent me her camera, which seemed a good excuse to take stock of what is growing between Moorhaven and Green Lane this month. On March 12th 2016, there were the first flowers of golden saxifrage and pink purslane, with a solitary purple and yellow flower of ivy-leaved toadflax that was a bit too small for the…