Orchard Apple Day – Parke

Saturday 1 October:  11am-3pm

Help press apples into delicious juice – bring your own  to press for a small charge (don’t forget a container).

Fun and games in and around the orchard.  Learn about apple trees, bees and herbs.  Rural skills demonstrations through the day and Grimspound Border Morris.

Further information on 01626 834748 (normal office hours only) or dartmoor@nationaltrust.org.uk.





As I mentioned in last weeks blog Sunday 2nd October I will see me taking part in the National Trusts penultimate cycling sportive this year. Go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cycling/ for full details. I’ve always enjoyed riding bikes and had the good fortune to cycle all over the country but Devon and in particular Dartmoor are my favorite.  The National Cycle Network route 27 runs north to south down the west side of the moor and is an endless succession of stunning views, interesting places, great ridding and a host of National Trust properties!  These include Lydford gorge, Buckland Abbey, Plymbridge woods and Saltam House.  Plymbridge Woods is perhaps the best introduction to this route, for more details see http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-plym_cycle_trail.pdf. Next weeks blog: tour of Britain comes to Dartmoor!


Lost in Translation

This year sees the NT host a number of cycling sportives across the country at various properties. Distances range from a few miles, to more testing 50-100 mile rides. Parke Estate at Bovey Tracey will  be this years penultimate challenge on the 2nd October.

I’ve been messing about on bikes since I was a kid and decided I was up for a challenge; that was until I had my first bonk! Yes bonking, clearly an american term spawned by those unschooled in the art of ‘carry on’ films. Bonking is what cyclists call hypoglycaemia which is the medical term for abnormally low levels of blood glucose.

Sniggering aside I would not wish it on anyone. I was out training with 10 miles to go when my body virtually shut down. I began to shake uncontrollably, sweat profusely and felt dizzy. But it was when I started having heart palpitations that I really began to worry. Easily the worst day I’ve had on a bike, ever.

It was all my own fault of course, next time I’ll follow the old mantra; eat before you’re hungry, drink before you’re thirsty. Look out for my next installment on Friday.

For more details about taking part click on this link http://www.andycookcycling.com/andy-cook-sportives/national-trust-sportive-castle-drogo/

Night Walk Goes With A Bang!

“Look at that one!” and “Wow!” were amongst the many sounds of admiration that could be heard on top of the Dewerstone last Tuesday evening (16th August). 26 visitors to the Plym Valley took half an hour to climb the steep slopes in order to enjoy a different perspective of the British Firework Championships, held in the City of Plymouth.

On reaching the top, many were pleased to find a boiling storm kettle to provide the thirsty climber with tea or coffee and a biscuit or two, along with some sparklers for the children. The event was a brilliant success with many hoping a similar event would be held next year. Watch this space!



Woodland Explorer Day – Parke

Wednesday 24 August, 11am-4pm:
Go wild in the woods – lots of woodland activities, including den building, nature trail, fire lighting and toasting marshmallows. Wear suitable footwear and bring a picnic if you want. Child £3.

Booking advisable on 01626 834748 or dartmoor@nationaltrust.org.uk

Woodland Art – Plymbridge Woods

Thursday 28 July, 10am-1pm

Come and play in the woods and explore the outdoors using art and crafts (materials supplied).  Meet at  Plym Bridge, grid ref SX 524 585.

Child £5.  Booking essential on 01752 341377 or dartmoor@nationaltrust.org.uk.

Stream Dipping – Parke

Wednesday 27 July, 2-4pm

See what lives in the leat, using nets and microscopes. Meet in the main car park. Child £2 (children must be accompanied by an adult).
Booking is essential on dartmoor@nationaltrust.org.uk or 01626 834748

A Classic Day for Dads

Today’s warmer weather certainly brought the crowds out, to see more than 60 classic cars, from all eras and from across the world, as we celebrated Father’s Day with our traditional Classic Car event.

Of course it takes more than a car show to make the perfect day out and our cafe was, once again, full to overflowing with families enjoying everything from a quick snack through to a full-blown roast dinner.   The beer tent also did a roaring trade as the warmer weather and a hearty lunch helped to build up a thirst.


Not to be outdone, the Castle Drogo gardens team put on a display of garden machinery and plants, as well as offering gardening hints and tips and even a couple of garden tours.

With a number of activities to keep younger members of the family occupied, there was plenty to provide a great family day out.

We do hope that, if you joined us, you’ve had a day to remember and, if you didn’t make it, we’ll hope to see you next year.

Woodland Explorer Day at Parke

Wednesday 1 June, 11am-4pm: Bring a picnic and spend the day at Parke. Go wild in the woods – build dens, follow the nature trail, light a fire and toast marshmallows, plus lots of other kids woodland activities. Child £3. Booking advisable on 01626 834748 or dartmoor@nationaltrust.org.uk.

A day with the nocturnal animals!

Pupils find a badger print

Leigham Primary School visited Plym bridge woods last week to see what nocturnal animals they could find.

Following a talk in school by the ranger, the children began their day by tracking a trail of clues left by nocturnal animals. The animals had been busy during the night leaving tracks and droppings which the children identified using their key of animal prints and facts they had learnt in school.

As well as listening out for the sounds of owls, the children also had the opportunity to look at badger, fox and hedgehog skulls and investigate the results of a night’s moth trapping.

In the afternoon they had a  chance to become a moth in a preditor prey game before visiting the Peregrines and a spot of bird watching.

Back at school the year 2 children will be reporting on their findings as part of their Literacy and Science curriculum.