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Flora And Fauna

Clover

Clover

Who has not at some time or other idly rummaged through a clover patch in search of the elusive four-leafed specimen? I have only ever found one example, and has it brought good luck? No, because after finding it I carefully wrapped the precious clover in my handkerchief and by …

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Cereals

Cereals

In view of the geography and climate of Dartmoor it could be logical to say that there would have been very little cereal cultivation on the moor but amazingly this would be wrong. There has always been the idea that cereals were not grown above the 1,000ft (304.8m) contour line. …

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Cattle

Cattle

The extensive Bronze Age reave system on Dartmoor is testament to how long cattle have been grazing the moor. When a mans wealth was measured by the number of cattle he owned it was therefore important to stock and control the animals, hence the enclosures created by the reaves.  There …

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Buzzards

Buzzards

Of all the birds that grace the skies of Dartmoor, the buzzard must be the most majestic, if the National Park was to have a bird as its symbol it would surely be the buzzard.  There is nothing better than to walk up onto the moor early on a summer’s …

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Butcher Birds

Butcher Birds

The ‘Butcher Bird’ or Red Backed Shrike (Lanius collurio) is normally classified as a ‘rare passage migrant’ on Dartmoor and according to the RSPB is listed in the red category, this means the species has the highest conservation priority thus needing urgent action. I must confess that I have never …

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Bracken

Bracken

Personally speaking, the thing I hate most about modern Dartmoor is the encroachment of bracken, it is getting a serious problem for many people. Walkers hate it as on hot summer days the last thing you want to have to do is wade through shoulder high bracken and then spend …

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Bog Asphodel

Bog Asphodel

One of the key habitats of Dartmoor is the Blanket Bog and living in the plant communities of these areas is the Bog Asphodel. The plant is classified as a ‘Key Indicator Species’ for Blanket Bogs, this basically means it; “is a species that has a disproportionately large effect on …

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Blue Ground Beetles

Blue Ground Beetles

Having just watched the Dartmoor programme of Ray Mears’ ‘Wilderness Walks’ where he went in search of the rare Blue Ground Beetle (Carabus intricatus) I thought as it’s a ‘legend’ it had better have it’s own page. Why is it a Dartmoor ‘legend’? Primarily because it is Britain’s largest native …

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Blueberries

Blueberries

It is not very often that a new aspect of Dartmoor appears but in the case of blueberries that is exactly what has happened. Farmers and landowners are constantly being told that diversification is the only means of survival in the shrinking agricultural industry and in Lustleigh somebody has successfully …

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Bluebells

Bluebell

“The Bluebell is the sweetest flower That waves in summer air: Its blossoms have the mightiest power To soothe my spirit’s care.” Emily Bronte In 2002 the English Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) was voted Britain’s most popular flower and so was adopted as the national flower of Britain. As with most …

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