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Flora And Fauna

Dartmoor Coltsfoot


  “It grows in pleasant moist places and near rivers which make a noise.” – William Salmon, 1693. Tussilago farfara – what a wonderful name for a flower which is more commonly known as the Coltsfoot or locally as Bulls Foot, Coughwort, Sun Before Father or Boy’s Bacca. Coltsfoot can …

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Dartmoor’s Teasels


  Dipsacus fullonum – alias Teasel, Teazle. Teasle, whatever you want to call it the teasel is amongst the more easily identifiable plants that occur on Dartmoor. It had for centuries also played an important part in Dartmoor’s cloth making industry. On Dartmoor teasels can be found in moist grassland …

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Dartmoor’s Traveller’s Joy


  “The cuckoo shouts all day at nothing in leafy dells alone, – And traveller’s Joy beguiles in autumns hearts that have lost their own.” – A. E. Houseman. Clematis vitalba – As its name suggests this plant is a member of the clematis family and can be seen virtually …

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Dartmoor Alder Trees


The European Alnus glutinosa or Alder is one of the several common and native trees to be found on Dartmoor and the name has derived from the Anglo Saxon word – alor which in a roundabout way means red or brown. Other local names for the tree are Aller, Aller Bush …

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Dartmoor’s Lucky White Heather


  “That Dartmoor folk, and a large number of other people as well, do believe in ‘lucky’ white heather is true. It is also true that both white ling (heather) and the various heaths are rare, except in some places. On tract of West Dartmoor last year white ling was …

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Dartmoor Black Rabbits


  Quite often when rambling around Dartmoor you come across something that makes you stop in your tracks and think  to yourself- “am I really seeing that?” Once you have confirmed that, yes, you are seeing that, the next question is usually – “how did that get there?” Many years …

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Fuzzy Pigs of Dartmoor


  Erinaceus europaeus – more commonly known as the European Hedgehog. In Devon the hedgehog is often referred top a the ‘Hedgy Boar‘ and on Dartmoor as the ‘Fuzzy Pig‘. In both cases the porcine name refers to the way it feeds by using its snout to root around pig-like in …

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The Purple Harvest on Dartmoor.


  “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


  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


“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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