We welcome a new member to the Plym Valley team

Hi everyone,

Just thought I would do a little post about my new role here at the National Trust Plym Valley. My name is Charlie and I am the new Sport Development Officer for the area which is really exciting and something the Trust is looking to do more to get more people to enjoy the fabulous outdoor spaces we have to offer.

Charlie

Continue reading…

Peregrine watch point goes live in the Plym Valley

Peregrine

The dedicated group of over 30 Volunteers are again drawing up their rota. With the help of our ranger Simon Garland they are overseeing the successful nesting of the pair of Peregrine Falcons in the Plym Valley. The birds were likely nesting in Cann Quarry shortly after its creation as a result of slate mining which ceased 1911. The peregrine watchers have given the birds 24hour protection since 2001 following two separate poisoning attempts. Each year this amazing team experience a heady mixture of drama, excitement and expectation as these masters of the sky settle down to breed and this year is no exception. A young male from last year’s brood has remained with the adults over the winter but is now out staying his welcome! Continue reading…

5 down, 45 to go!

Plym Valley Rangers, volunteers and visitors to Plymbridge woods all combined today to help with the National Trust 2013 launch of  ’50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4. A wet  start to the day could not dampen spirits and before long a number of children were walking off with a copy of the ‘Adventure Scrapbook’ under their arm.  

Between us all, we managed to ‘Roll down a really big hill’, ‘Skim a stone’, ‘Play Pooh sticks’, ‘Hunt for bugs’ (including an impressive Oil Beetle), and ‘Go bird watching’ at the Plym Peregrine Watch. Five down,  45 to go! 

Dry-Stone Walling with Plym Valley Conservation Volunteers

This Sunday Pete Davies led a small team of volunteers in Plym Bridge Woods, reinstating some of the local archaeology. The wall which follows the Plymouth to Dartmoor tramway along the Western edge of the woods has slowly fallen foul of time and misuse, causing the majority of it to fall away degrading the aesthetic value and leaving loose shale on the path. Under instruction from Pete; Jim, Steve, Tony and the two Joes removed any loose shale and unstable rocks from the top of the wall and meticulously replaced them, reinforcing the base where necessary. The centre was filled in with the loose shale and soil which had slowly built up alongside the wall. Aside from the biting wind the weather was pleasant and didn’t hinder the team, allowing them to make serious headway into improving the site.

The work undertaken on Sunday was the first of many steps; the wall runs for miles and will be a long term project. The important thing is that the first Plym Valley Conservation Volunteers meet was a success. For the first day it was a respectable turn out and everybody enjoyed themselves which bodes well for the future.

The next meet will be on Sunday 12th May 2013 and will involve post and rail fencing in Plymbridge Woods. The group will be meeting at 10am in Plymbridge carpark; if you’re interested in helping out this would be greatly appreciated.

 

Easter Egg Trail in the Plym Valley

The nation wide Easter trail event that took place on Good Friday was a great success for us down in the Plym Valley. With more than 200 people following clues along the canal path that eventually lead to the “Easter village” at the end of the trail.

The village was a way of creating the kind of atmosphere you find at most village fate’s; a warming community spirit that aimed to keep people engaged in the event long after the trail had finished. This seemed to work as some families remained on site for 2 or so hours after they’d completed the trail, a resounding success.

Despite being cold, the event went off without a hitch with everyone really enjoying themselves. Alison from Opal came down with a volunteer encouraging children to forage for spring plants as part of the activities which also included the Easter bunny handing out chocolate eggs, games on the lawn and a sizeable craft tent thanks to Fred at Parke.

A lovely day had by all.

Plym Valley team

Leaves on the Line

Following the strong winds and heavy rain of last Sunday, Rangers and volunteers have spent the week clearing trees, removing hung-up branches and rebuilding paths in the Plym Valley.

A number of trees have been cleared from Plymbridge Woods including  two Sweet Chestnuts (pictured) which, for a short time, blocked the old Plymouth to Princetown Railway line.  Built in 1823, the line closed in 1916 and is now used as a footpath.

Noted for it durability and outdoor resistance, the Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) removed from this site will be ‘cleft’ and used to provide fencing materials.

 

 

Improved access to the Dewerstone

Plym Valley Rangers and volunteers have been working on improvements to the footbridge over the River Plym at Shaugh Bridge. By re-hanging the access gate and removing the ‘step’ from the northern end, it is hoped that the access for all visitors to the Dewerstone will be improved.

The views from the top of the Dewerstone are well worth the 150ft climb from the car park.

A new tree for Lee Moor

Residents of the Dartmoor village of Lee Moor have a new tree on their village green. Working closely with members of the Shaugh Parish Council and helped by pupils from Shaugh Prior Primary School, the Plym Valley Ranger team have planted a Copper Beech.

This ornamental Beech (Fagus sylvatica purpurea), which was selected by the Parish Council, is cultivated from the European Beech and is distinguished by its purple leaves. In order to protect it from grazing animals, the Rangers also built an oak tree guard.