Carry on Glamping


Last week the National Trust Dartmoor Rangers played host to pupils from local secondary school Torbridge High at Dewerstone Woods. Two groups spent a night under the stars (and the rain) in the NT Dartmoor Tepee. As part of Torbridge High challenge week the kids also scaled then abseiled the Dewerstone, made wildwood bows and arrows and braved a night walk! Character building was mandatory.

Seen an elephant fly?

This handsome chap is a elephant hawk moth, so called because the caterpillar has one end that looks like a trunk. The kids at Lydford primary school hatched out ‘squidgy’ last week after 5 moths of caring for him as a pupa. Squidgy was a Christmas present to the kids from the rangers at Lydford gorge and along with their teacher Sue have done us proud.

Elephant hawk moths are native to the UK, my girlfriend and I found this one in the early autumn looking for a place to pupate, squidgy had a releasing ceremony last Friday and is once again a ‘wild’ moth!



The chickens of Tor Bridge High will sleep that bit easier tonight as they christen their new run.  Tor Bridge High took advantage of the National Trusts employee volunteering scheme which allows Trust staff up to 5 days each year to volunteer with other organisations. Stuart one of the NT Dartmoor Rangers went along to Estover to help build a deluxe run for the schools much loved flock. This is however is just the tip of the collaborative iceberg.

Part of the schools challenge week this June will involve an overnight wild camping on Trust land in the NT Dartmoor tepee. September then sees Tor Bridge High climbing experts run an adventure special on the Castle Drogo estate. I CAN HARDLY WAIT!

If you have a worthy cause that can be helped along with a handy man and hard work drop us a line below.



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.

The Rangers Leigham Leap

Rangers from the Plym Valley celebrated the recent Leap day by taking a ‘Local Leap’ with their local primary school. Using their time to volunteer for the Leigham School community, they helped out with a number of projects designed to help the children enjoy their outdoor environment.

Rangers, teachers and pupils spent the afternoon carving chairs, cutting stepping stones and creating den spaces within the school grounds. There was even time to help one of the school governers with benches for the school’s outdoor stage!

Hele’s School Stops the Clock with the National Trust

The National Trust welcomed over 100 students from Hele’s School to undertake conservation tasks on Friday 23rd September. Plymbridge Woods, Saltram, and Wembury took part in the day, in which Year 11 were invited to have day out of school learning about nature conservation.

The group working at Plymbridge Woods created a glade next to the Railway Cottages. Advice was sought from the National Trust’s Archaeology expert and the vision of an open glade between the ruined Workshop and Railway Cottages was agreed. The students were given the big task of beginning the clearance operation. The area was thick with brambles, vines, nettles, shrubs, and saplings. They surpassed all expectations by clearing the whole area. The other activity involved working alongside Plymbridge Wood’s Ranger team in the task of laurel felling and burning. The students learnt a great deal about practical conservation management, and the safe and correct use of tools to do the job.

The Plym Valley team arranged for the rest of the year group to visit other National Trust properties nearby. At Wembury the pupils began by cleaning the beach, and after lunch they joined the Rangers clearing gorse. Meanwhile at Saltram the pupils assisted the Head Gardener in managing the hedgerows, and worked alongside the Rangers whilst they cleared and thinned an area of scrub.

There was also time for each property to lead an educational walk, in which plenty of trees, plants and wildlife was spotted and identified.

It was a wonderful opportunity for the pupils of Hele’s School to get some hands on practical conservation experience that will help to broaden their career horizons. They worked really hard and achieved an enormous amount at all three properties. We’d certainly be happy to have them again!