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Flora And Fauna

Black Grouse

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For me the mention of Black Grouse immediately conjures up the picture of a bottle of fairly drinkable whisky probably because I have never seen the avian type in the wild. However there was a time when the word most likely would have been associated with a covey of majestic …

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Dartmoor’s Highlanders

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You are driving over the B3212 road by Shapley Common, its a crisp autumn day, the heather is in full bloom casting a purple hue over the hazy moorland and all of a sudden in the middle of the road you see a shaggy looking cow. Somewhere beneath its furry …

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Dartmoor Birch Trees

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  Birch Cleave Wood (SX 826 826), Birch Down (SX 816 873), Birch Ellers Mine (SX 826 871), Birch Tree Farm (SX 8225 8733), Birch Pool (SX 7332 6811) Birch Tor (SX 687 814), Birchanger Cross (SX 7728 7557), Birch Wood ( SX 705 673),  and Birchey Lake (SX 6199 …

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Dartmoor Coltsfoot

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  “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

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  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

Travellers

  “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

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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

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  “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

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  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

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  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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