Tag Archives: Chelfham Woods

Dormice at Chelfham

We always thought dormice were likely to be present, having been recorded in a wood across the road, and with the wood having loads of suitable habitat.  I found a few suspicious chewed nuts when we were constructing the tracks two years ago, but nothing certain.  Dormice chew neat holes in a hazel nut, whereas

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Hakeford Woods Forest School

Hakeford Woods Forest School has recently opened on some land we recently sold to Stuart near Chelfham.  He has given up a teaching job in order to develop the forest school, which is being run as a community interest company.  If you haven’t come across forest schools before they aim to build the connections of

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Restoring a wildflower meadow

It’s not all woodlands here; for the last month I have been popping up to Chelfham to work on a new fence, so that we can reintroduce grazing to some old meadows.  Species rich wildflower meadows have declined steeply since the Second World War, as intensive farming, with short term leys, fertilisers and herbicides have

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Civil engineering at Chelfham!

We have been back at work in Chelfham Woods in the last month, fitting in track work between the hibernation and breeding seasons for dormice.  Last autumn we constructed a series of tracks, and stoned them from a quarry on site.  This spring our main focus has been to build a bridge across the river

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Ancient Trees

Most ancient trees are defined as those believed to be over 400 years old, although it can be less, for species with a shorter life span.  400 years is also used to define ancient woodlands, a timescale initially defined by how far back our map records tend to go. Oliver Rackham wrote: ‘Ten thousand oaks

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Woodland Wildlife

I’ve commented before on my poor photography, so this time I am unashamedly plagiarising from Rosanna, who is taking on the ownership of Riverside Wood at Chelfham.  Rosanna has had a motion triggered camera on site for a few weeks, and has taken some interesting nigh-time shots of a badger sett and also a visiting

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Improvements at Chelfham Woods

Chelfham is one of the woods we purchased from the League Against Cruel Sports, and has been the subject of lots of planning and some improvement works.  The main issue at Chelfham has been to provide good access, for both future management and to enable future owners to get around and enjoy the woodland. After

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Access Works at Chelfham Woods

Last month I spent some time at Chelfham Woods, making a start on track improvements.  This included some minor tree felling and then working with Roger for three days.  Roger is a local agricultural contractor and a dab hand with a tracked excavator! Our original plan had been to undertake all the track works in

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Chelfham Woods Improvements

I’ve been having some fun and games over the winter, some on the ground and also working my way through various different pieces of red tape.  We are planning to improve the tracks in the wood this summer, and this has required the following permissions: •    Land drainage consent: for two stream crossings.  The Devon

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