Fire engines, police and our local rescue teams at Lydford Gorge

Local rescue charities and branches of emergency services, National Trust and Dartmoor National Park Authority are holding their second safety on Dartmoor day at Lydford Gorge near Tavistock on Sunday 23 June between 10am and 4.30pm.

On the day, there will be the opportunity to look round fire engines, police cars and ambulances plus meet the local fire fighters, police officers, air ambulance crew and rescue dogs. The air sea rescue helicopter will pop in for an appearance during the day as well as the police Oscar 99 and Devon Air ambulance, if jobs allow.  There will be a flypast by a WW2 Spitfire to salute all the emergency services on Dartmoor due at 1pm


The day will also include live rescues from the gorge and demonstrations, including red watch cliff rescue from Camelshead Rescue and Dartmoor Rescue.  There will also be an opportunity to meet the Dartmoor Rescue dogs and have a go on emergency simulator machines.

Free admission.  For further details about Lydford Gorge please visit  or call 01822 820320 or


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! 

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

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.

Go Batty in the Woods

Do you often find yourself asking: What’s the point of bats? Do bats suck blood? Are bats blind? What on earth is echolocation?

If the answer is yes, then a night going batty in the woods is just the thing for you.

Come and join the NT Ranger for a night walk through Plym Bridge Woods to learn more about these mysterious creatures.


Thursday 23 August 8pm til 10pm


Meet in the National Trust car park in Plymbridge Woods (Grid ref: SX 524 585)

What else do I need to know?

To book, call 01752 341377

Adults £4, Children £2

Wear sturdy shoes and bring a torch. If you have your own bat dectector, bring that along too.

Half Term at Castle Drogo

Looking for something to do this half term? Come along to Castle Drogo and see the house waking up for the new season. There have been some dramatic changes over the winter. We have had to Acro prop the scullery and after some pieces of concrete came away from the ceiling outside the larder we have unfortunately had to close this area as it is now unsafe. This is a clear example of how serious the water ingress to the castle has become and why we need to act now to save it. For more information visit The castle is open every day from 11am to 4pm until Sunday 19 February and then is open at weekends until Saturday 10 March when it will be open for the new season.


There is also lots to do outside this week to make the most of the slightly warmer weather. Why not come and take a walk around the gardens to see if you can spot the first signs of spring. We have a trail around the garden and grounds with lots of activities to do inspired by Dartmoor and the Drogo estate including a scavenger hunt and the chance to become an animal estate agent. The trail is available for £1.50 from visitor reception and includes a prize at the end. On Sunday 19 February at 10am you can join the Teign Valley Wild Tribe at Fingle Bridge Meadows were there will be lots of hands on activities to get involved with (£2 per adult, £4 per child, booking advisable on 01647 433356).

St. Clements Day at Finch Foundry

As usual, the day started with bacon and egg butties and the blacksmiths demonstrated their skills in a competition to make a candle holder (winner Richard Jones), along with the spectacular firing of the anvil.  For the first time, the Great snail race was staged – this ended up in a tie, so the two fastest blacksmiths went head to head and the winner was Brian Collis.

As well as all this excitement, the BBC were filming for a documentary called Handmade in Britain.

All in all, a good day.




Last Sunday saw the annual Drogo 10 race around the stunning Teign gorge (see last weeks blog). I entered for the first time this year, in fact it was the first race I’ve ever ran! After the pain had subsided it was a very empowering experience which I would recommend to anyone, not just the super fit. Everyone was friendly and supportive, it was well organised and I’ll defiantly be back again next year. Well done to everyone involved.