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Flora And Fauna

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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Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic

“Eate leeks in Lide and ransons in May And all yeare after physicians my play.” Wander through any Dartmoor woodland or along a hedgerow between April and June and you cannot fail to miss the heady aroma of garlic – the warmer the day the stronger the smell. Unless one …

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Wild Boar

Wild Boar

At the beginning of 2006 there were around 60 wild boar missing from a farm near West Anstey, they had be released by some mindless animal rights protesters. Originally there were 100 wild boars released but locals managed to re-capture 40 of them but the farmer warned at the time …

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