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Flora And Fauna

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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Whortle Berries

Whortle Berries

Vaccinium mrytillus, in Scotland they call it a blaeberry, in Wales it is known as a whimberry, in Devon they talk of whortleberry on Dartmoor ‘tiz a ‘hurt‘. Call it what you want it tastes delicious and it is a chore to pick, you seem to spend hours plucking, squashing …

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Weather Law

Weather Law

Dartmoor’s weather has been said to be ‘unpredictable’ but to the moorfolk who know what signs to look out for nothing comes as a surprise. It could be said that the weather can on occasions be split in two forecasts in so much as it could be raining on the …

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Weather

Weather

Fust it rain’d then it blaw’d The it ‘ail’d then it snaw’d Then it com’d a shower o’ rain Then it vreez’d an blaw’d agean. Wet, misty, foggy, windy, cold, and even wetter – all descriptions of Dartmoor’s weather that readily comes to people’s minds. Hardly ever do you hear …

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Wart Charming

Wart Charming

Warts have always been considered as unsightly and associated with old crones and disease. It is therefore no surprise that many folk were keen to rid themselves of wart afflictions by any means possible. As you will see many of the cures are based on the theory that it took …

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Walking with Cows

Walking with Cows

Recently (June 2009) the dog and I were walking up on Hameldon Ridge the other week, it was a glorious day with the promise of some good hot weather and a typical Dartmoor stroll, which it turned out to be. However, on the way back to the car I could …

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Violets

Violets

Springtime on Dartmoor sees the emergence of the delicate violet, often nestled under a hedgebank alongside the primrose. This sweet scented harbinger of warmer days has for centuries been part of the moorman’s medicine cabinet and lore. The violet is common along the hedgebanks and row of the lower moorland …

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Turnips

Turnips

“About them stretched square fields, off some of which a harvest of oats had just been shorn; while others were grass green with the sprawling foliage of turnip.” Falcon Farm – Orphan Diana, Eden Phillpotts. For anyone that has seen the now famous Warhorse movie they will recall the Dartmoor …

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Tors

Tors

I don’t think I would be far wrong in suggesting that there are very few places on Dartmoor from which a tor of some kind is not visible. This is hardly surprising as it is the literal bedrock of the moor and what we see today are mere vestiges of …

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