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Flora And Fauna

The Purple Harvest on Dartmoor.

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  “To where the Whortleberries lure I hie, Thinking of tasty whortleberry pie; A most delightful, delicacy it To set before the epicure is fit! The picker’s task, maybe, is tedious, Gathering the blue-black globules of the bush. Now once again is whortleberry time, Down westwards in our glorious summer …

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Herb Bennet

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  If ever you happen to be strolling along a Dartmoor lane any time between May and September and happen to notice a small yellow flower growing in a hedgerow then there is a chance that you have just come across Herb Bennet. To be precise the Latin name for …

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Yew Trees, Dartmoor

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“Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,          Where heaves the turf in many a mould’ring heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,          The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.” Thomas Grey – Elegy written in a churchyard There are many splendid yew trees to be found in the …

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The Beasts of Dartmoor

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As with any wild expanse of land there have been many reports and sightings of ‘Big Cats’ on Dartmoor. People talk of ‘The Beast of Dartmoor’ when more likely as not it should be ‘The Beasts of Dartmoor’. Talk to any body that spends a lot of time on the …

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Flaviu the Lynx

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Wednesday July 6th 2016. On the 6th of July 2016 Dartmoor Zoo took delivery of a 2 year-old Carpathian Lynx called Flaviu who had come from Port Lympne Wildlife Park in Kent. After making his grand entrance at 7.30 pm when he was placed in an existing pen which had …

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Sundews of Dartmoor

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“By the lone fountain’s secret bed’ Where human footsteps rarely tread, ‘Mid the wild moor of silent glen, The sundew blooms unseen by men; Spreads there her leaf of rosy bloom, A chalice for the morning dew, And, ere the summers sun can rise, Drinks the pure waters of the …

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Magpie Superstitions

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“One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy,  five for silver, six for gold and seven for a secret never to be told, eight for a wish, nine for a kiss, ten for a bird that’s best to miss.”“ I will bet that …

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Wheatear

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One sure sign that Spring has arrived is the shrill warbling of a colourful bird usually sat atop a rock or boulder, this is the Wheatear. When you look carefully at this small bird you could be forgiven for wondering what about its appearance could possibly suggest either wheat or …

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Wrens

Wrens

“The robin redbreast and the wren, God Almighty’s cock and hen. Him that harries their nest Never shall his soul have rest.” “Kill a robin or a wren, Never prosper, boy or man.” Titty-todger, ackymal, kitty-lodger, tidley-tope, cracky wran and cuddy bear are all just a few of the three …

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Woodcocks

Woodcocks

Whilst delving through some old copies of The Times newspaper I can across the following story from the winter of 1856. It serves as a good illustration of the type of prisoner that was once held in Dartmoor Prison and how the establishment got its notorious reputation. The first report …

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