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.



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.

Douglas Fir at Plymbridge.


In Plymbridge Woods, over the past few weeks, visitors may well have noticed the freshly cut wood within the Douglas Fir plantation. This is the result of Chainsaw Milling operations that have been carried out by Rangers and contractors.

Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menzeisii), also sometimes called Oregon Pine or Douglas Spruce, is a softwood species that originates from Western North American. With relatively good durability, it has numerous timber applications.

The Douglas Fir used at PlymBridge, which had been previously felled and allowed to season, was milled and converted into a variety of sizes. This resulting timber will be used on the estate for a number of maintenance projects including repairs to the roadside fencing.

Now you see it, now you don’t!


Plym Valley Rangers and volunteers spent an interesting flew days last week clearing this Beech from the River Plym. This ‘unofficial’ crossing point and temporary dam was removed allowing wildlife to move more freely  up and down this important river corridor. Our resident Kingfishers seemed particularly happy with our efforts.

Rather you than me!

This brave chap is doing what is known in the tree surgery trade as delimbing.  Using ropes he climbs the tree and with a chainsaw cuts it piece by piece until he leaves 10 or so metres of trunk known as standing timber, ideal for wildlife.  This  particular tree was suffering from a fatal disease and would have collapsed, potentially damaging near by properties. This method allows the best of both worlds being safe and creating great habitat.  All relevant bird and bat surveys were carried out before any work started.

Double whammy

Hi, we in the Teign valley are just coming to the end of our annual round of tree planting. 2,410 trees planted, 90 to go.
Last week we were helped in no small way by two groups, one new to us, the other old friends.

The first group were from advertising company JC Deceaux, and if you are anything like me you will say-never heard of them! However next time you are in an Airport, trainstation or supermarket look at the big advertising boards dotted around and you will soon realise that they are (or should be) a household name.
JC Deceaux

13 willing volunteers got stuck in for the day and planted…wait for it… 500 trees! thats a new record for any of our groups.
They were joined on the day by our friends the Sticklepath and Okehampton Conservation group (STOC) They planted hundreds more trees and left us with a paltry few trees which we will be planting this week with the Okehampton scouts and a group from Exeter college. Many thanks to all who took part and if you or a company that you know of want to get involved then get in touch on 01647 433356.
Planting trees