July 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to the July Wildlife Warden newsletter. We have continued to be very busy this month with lots of great local action for wildlife.

This month:

Butterfly and Day-Flying Moth Training

Pete Hurst, the county butterfly recorder for Butterfly Conservation, led a keen bunch of Wildlife Wardens on a thoroughly enjoyable walk through the Ruggadon Middlepark nature reserve. The reserve was absolutely buzzing with butterflies and insect life on the day. We looked at all the butterflies and day-flying moths, particularly chatting about where and when we would see each species in relation to habitat and time of year. We recorded an amazing 19 species on the walk, including an abundance of Marbled Whites and Five-spot Burnet moths. Both Audrey and Pete feel that this year is probably the best one for several years, which is excellent to hear. We all felt we had gained so much from this event, so thank you very much to Pete for his time and knowledge.

Oxen Park Farm BioBlitz

We ran a BioBlitz last weekend at Oxen Park Farm, Lower Ashton, with a group of enthusiastic wildlife wardens. The 55-acre farm has been managed by the current owner for the past 7 years with the land used for a market garden and orchard, whilst also providing learning opportunities for schools, universities and family groups. Steps have been taken to try and improve the biodiversity on the farm; benefitting wildlife alongside food production.

We had a wonderful few hours looking and recording all the species we could find within several target areas. There was lots to see and we all enjoyed learning from each other during the process. We will create a species list for Oxen Park Farm enabling them to build on this in the future. Thank you to those who came along.

County Wildlife Surveys for Devon Biodiversity Records Centre

Small teams of DBRC trained wildlife wardens have been out to several sites this month, using their skills to survey potential County Wildlife Sites (CWS). These have included an old orchard in Tedburn, a meadow in Dunsford and a woodland area in Chudleigh.

County Wildlife Sites make up nearly 30,000 hectares, approximately 4% of Devon and have been designated due to the presence of particular habitats and species such as traditionally managed species-rich lowland meadows, upland oak woodlands, lowland fens and mires. They provide a network of wildlife-rich habitats in the county and play a significant part in ensuring sites of high biodiversity value are recognised and protected. 

Wildlife Wardens have an important role to play.

  • Would you like to come out and join us on surveys to increase your skills and learn with others?
  • Would you be interested in helping to make connections with local land owners in your parish, who own unconfirmed county wildlife sites?

DBRC really value the Wildlife Wardens local knowledge and connections within their parish and would love to use this to gain permission to survey new sites next year.

Please do contact me vicky@actionclimateteignbridge.org if you are interested in being involved.

Dates for your diary

24th JulyFarm Bioblitz near Dunchideock
8th or 22nd AugustWW Visit to Ridgetop Park near Exminster, with a Teignbridge District Council Ranger
Date tbc
Surveying Hedges, training workshop
Date tbc
Fungi and Waxcap walk
Please email me if you are interested in coming along to an event vicky@actionclimateteignbridge.org Anchor

The Devon Bat Survey 2023

Are you interested in taking part in a citizen science project and also finding out about the bat species in your garden?

As part of Saving Devon’s Treescapes, key species are monitored that have a dependence on our treescapes. Bats are one of these species and up until this point the bat surveys have been focusing on core areas in Exeter, Coly Valleys, Torbay and Malborough. This year, the survey is expanding to allow bat species to be monitored beyond these core areas.

So, take the opportunity to book a bat detector for 3 days and monitor what is in your garden, as well as providing valuable data which can be used to inform research and conservation activities in the future. 

White Admiral

Remember that the Big Butterfly Count runs until the 6th of August. Take just 15 minutes and record all the butterflies and day-flying moths within your garden or other open space, as part of this large citizen science project run by Butterfly Conservation.

Audrey and John have been touched by the overwhelming number of thoughtful messages, letters and flowers they have received, and have asked me to pass on their thanks to all.

Out of Office!

I will be away for 3 weeks in August and will be unable to reply to emails until I return. If you have anything that requires urgent action during this time then please email audrey@boveyclimateaction.org.uk

If anyone is running a stall or stand at a village event or show during August and would like to borrow the Wildlife Warden show material please contact me ASAP so I can arrange pick up/delivery before I go away. Thank you! vicky@actionclimateteignbridge.org

A Common Darter dragonfly Photo: Jeremy Pyne

Round up of Wildlife Warden Activity Across Teignbridge

Emily ran a BioBlitz in the local churchyard and has written an article about it for the local magazine. She has also been working with the local primary school and has organised an after school volunteering event at the community orchard. This was an opportunity to get the children involved whilst earning some volunteering ticks in their books!

WWs took part in a “Sustainable Abbotskerswell” meeting which discussed the repair workshop, engaging the village with a hedgehog project, maintaining the wildflower space and community orchard, creating a seed swap for next season and much, much more! If anyone is interested in these meetings just join the “Sustainable Abbotskerswell” Facebook group to automatically get an invite.  

Tawny Owl Photo: Shira Rub

Dom and Shira led a bat walk as part of Eco Church week. Unfortunately, there were not many bats probably because of the dry weather – only a few pipistrelles and one noctule. In contrast, Shira recently used the Devon Bat Group detector for two nights by the river Teign and detected 11 different species! The picture above is of a Tawny owl Shira saw trying to sleep in an oak tree. Her attention was drawn to it by the alarm calls of blackbirds who were trying to persuade it to go elsewhere. It was determined to carry on sleeping, however!

Shira helped survey the orchard in Tedburn as a potential County Wildlife Site. Thank you! 

Joanna helped survey the orchard in Tedburn as a potential County Wildlife Site. Thank you! 

In Dunsford this month WWs did a CWS meadow survey (many thanks to everyone who helped) and continued water quality testing. Jess wrote a lovely article on bird feeding for the Unity parish magazine. Following the monthly wildlife meeting in Chudleigh, Pip and Julia were inspired to walk up on Marden at night to listen for nightjars, which they heard. Julia also helped survey the orchard in Tedburn as a potential County Wildlife Site. Thank you! 

A leaf cutter bee loaded with pollen on its pollen brush Photo: Jeremy Pyne

Former Exminster resident and ecologist Helen ran a bat walk for 20 Greenspaces volunteers and villagers. Although the batty action was fairly limited, they all saw pipistrelles zooming around the meadow oak trees and learnt lots by spending a little while in the churchyard with a detector.

WW and Greenspaces also kicked off July with a working party in the village orchard, planting out a range of wildflower plug plants grown by the village based NHS team at Exminster New Leaf.  Spare plants were shared with local residents and neighbouring Wildlife Warden contacts.

Photos: Paul Martin

Ogwild WWs have been busy with a successful ‘Build a Bee Home’ workshop a few weekends ago. They were recently awarded 2nd place for their “Rectory Field” in the Devon County Show Community Woodland category. Well done! In a recent meeting, they have been discussing the management of the parish wildflower areas, autumn planting plans and additions to the Rectory Field (including a bug hotel, grass snake area and a possible pond) as well as planning future talks about bats and hedgerows, wildlife gardening and owls.

A pair of mating Lime Hawk Moths Photo: Jeremy Pyne

ACT Website

ACT have asked that any events the WWs are running are listed on the ACT website Events Area HERE  

Please click on “Tell us about your event” in the first box, and follow the link.


If you update any of your details via a Mailchimp link please also let me know by emailing vicky@actionclimateteignbridge.org as it does not automatically change the Wildlife Warden database. Many thanks. 

Thank you for all your support and amazing action for nature this month. Please continue to update us – we love to hear what you have all been doing .


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