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Flora And Fauna

Blackthorn

Blackthorn

“When winter comes in earnest to fulfil His yearly task at bleak Novembers close, And stops the plough and hides the fields in snows; When frost locks up the streams in chill delay And mellows on the hedge the purple sloes …“. John Clare – The Shepherd’s Calendar – 1827 …

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Blackberries

Blackberries

To this day I can still remember when, as a boy, Granfer would produce the dreaded ‘yeller pail’ and I was told, “go fill ‘un bwoy.” There wasn’t much I hated doing but filling that sodding ‘yeller pail’ used to ‘hack I orf’ no end because it meant one of …

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Bellever Bulls

Bellever Bulls

“Oh, yet, ye solemn Altars! while I feel The shadowy spells of power that round ye dwell.” J. E. Reade -1843 “On the left within a farm enclosure is Bel Tor, which although only a small pile, is sufficiently interesting to call for notice. A gate in the wall will …

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Bears

Bears

On the 8th of September 2014 it was revealed that the pelt found in the Whitehorse Hill kist was that of a Brown Bear (Ursus arctos). The three year interval between finding the grave and identifying the pelt has been due to the fact that normal DNA testing has been …

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Bats

Bats

Out of all the animals on Dartmoor it is the bat that has the most unjustifiable reputation of all, mention the word bat and many people associate it with haunted churchyards, witchcraft, Halloween and something that gets tangled in your hair. It is true that you can often see bats …

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Badgers

Badgers

I think it is a well known fact that Devon has more than its fair share of Badgers, just read any discussion regarding T.B. But there are many badger setts to be found in the more remoter areas of high Dartmoor and some of these have been established for many …

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Ash Trees

Ash Trees

“If the Oak is out before the Ash, then we shall surely have a splash, If the Ash is out before the Oak, then we shall surely have a soak”. That is probably one of the better known of the old weather lore sayings and versions of it can be …

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Apples

Apples

Mention apples and Devon in the same breath and people automatically think of cider, surprisingly enough the odd apple or two were actually eaten and many of the small cotts had a tree in the garden. Whilst it cannot be denied that a vast majority of the apples grown on …

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Adder’s Tongue

pint

“Even amidst that neglected dike the arum rises in humble state : most curiously shrouded in her leafy tabernacle, and surrounded with luxuriant families, each distinguished by a peculiar livery of green“. Walk down any hedgerow or stroll through any wood and the chances are that somewhere the shy Adder’s …

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Adders

Adders

If you consider the amount written about adders or ‘long cripples’ as they are called on Dartmoor it would be possible to imagine that the place is literally crawling with them, that is not the case anymore. There are many walkers that despite years of tramping the moors have never …

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