FBI at Lydford Gorge!

FBI at Lydford Gorge!

Not the Federal Bureau, but the Family Bonding Initiative…. An afternoon of creative fun for families to work together as a team. Last Thursday saw the first of three of these free drop in sessions. Around 20 families enjoyed designing and constructing wooden character faces ranging from horses to bears and even the occasional brother or sister! Continue reading…

Waterfalls & Rockfalls-a day at Lydford Gorge!

Waterfalls & Rockfalls-a day at Lydford Gorge

I had a surprise on June the 26th whilst doing a routine check of the path’s at Lydford Gorge. An overnight slippage had occurred in the ravine just down from the Devils Cauldron falls.

The path was closed immediately for safety and visitors re-routed to the Cauldron. Phil our friendly ‘rock doctor’ was on site within hours to check the site and advise on remedial work. Continue reading…

50 Things to do before your 11 3/4 with Friends and Families of Special Children

Setting up campClimbing hills and sliding down

Thursday 30th of May saw Friends and Families of special children come down to Plymbridge woods to notch some of the 50 things to do before your eleven and three quarters off their list. A small group of children armed with leaky wellington boots, Ham sandwiches and a lot of enthusiasm dived into all the activities we could throw at them, getting their bums dirty, splashing in the river and burning marshmallows all with a smile. The children left mucky and shattered from the days fun but this is what it’s all about, a fulfilling day for all.

Treecreepers Play Hide and Seek at Lydford Gorge!

Whilst doing clearing the decaying stems of dead Laurel we noticed the antics of these birds whilst bringing food to their young. The nest was well concealed and protected behind a mature ivy stem. The ‘fast food’ came in the form of small spiders, flies and other insects. These are easily extracted by the Treecreepers fine long curved beak from deep within the folds and ripples of the bark of nearby trees. Another interesting characteristic which may be observed of these birds is how they fly to the base of trees and spiral climb upwards before flying to the next. Also please note their amazing camouflage when their back is turned to you!  The Gorge is simply alive with signs of Spring at the moment with many different bird species keenly feeding babies, wildflowers of various colours, and the trees leaves still with that lovely almost flourescent green which passes too quickly!

Please click on video link below….

Tree creepers at Lydford Gorge 2

Young Birdwatchers


Micro ornithologists


A group of budding young ornithologists came on a guided walk around Plymbridge Woods yesterday. We focused on bird survey techniques and species identification, and finished with a look at our spectacular pair of resident peregrine falcons. We had fantastic views of both peregrines, who are looking particularly nesty. We saw some other great birds including a great spotted woodpecker, mandarin ducks and dippers. The kids’ bird i.d. skills were very good and I’m sure there were a few future Audubons and Humbles among them. Well done folks. If you’re children are interested in joining the young birdwatchers, we will be doing more activities on the 8th and 28th of August and the 29th of September. Please call the office for more details (01752 341 377).

Is this what they mean by “Multi-use Trail”?

Well, not really, but this is what a trail suitable for families, wheelchairs,dog walkers, cyclists, and pushchairs has to look like when its being built.

Don’t worry though, once the construction crew have left and nature takes over, the new recycled road planing surface will weather in and it will look just like an inviting meander through the woodland.

The trail should be completed soon after Easter, but in the meantime you can still have a great visit to National Trust Parke, seeing the apple orchard, walled garden, historic parkland, bluebell woodland, riverside walk, Dartmoor Pony Centre, ending with a tasy snack of light lunch at Home Farm Cafe.

Parke pomology

Saturday saw the return of Apple day at Parke.




For those of you who follow me on twitter you may be aware that i have had my head in an apple tree for most of last week and yesterday saw the culmination of our fruity forays for this year.

With the September sunshine offering us an unusual treat, we started scratting and pressing the many bags of apples from our orchard. Predominantly our cider apples get pressed however this year we included what we call our juicers. Our trusty volunteers Phil, Steve and Jack were in charge of all things pressing and by the end of the day arms were sore but many a litre of the good stuff had been pressed. It wasn’t only our apples that ended up being pressed but many people locally from Bovey brought in their own to be squeezed.

For the first time we were able to welcome the South Devon singers, fresh from their performance of the Armardadrama at Buckland Abbey, the group sang  songs of composting, biodiversity and pomology to entertain people who were here. They added melodious vibrancy to the day and we look forward to being involved in more events with them.

With songs filling the air, the sound of juice being pressed there came the occasional whistle, yours truly was learning, and learning fast about whittling whistles and fickle thripples or phipples. Try saying that when you’ve had too much cider! The cafe was also doing a great trade in teas coffees and all things appley  including pork and apple burgers and apple cake.

We also had an array of traditional orchard games, juice sampling and of course Parke apple juice for sale. People flowed as the apple juice flowed over the course of the morning and afternoon and with the sound of whistles from the woodland we unwound the press and enjoyed a well earnt glass of fresh apple juice…..



Apple Day at Parke

Saturday 29 September, 11am – 3pm

Help to pick and press apples and taste the juice (bring your own to press for a small charge).  Have a go at some woodland crafts, make a bee hotel, play some orchard games and be entertained by the South Devon Singers earthy repertoire.  A great day for all the family.