June 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to the June Wildlife Warden newsletter – it has been such a busy month with lots of events, surveys and wildlife!

This month:

CWS Grassland Training at Ruggadon Nature Reserve, Trusham 

Paul Seymour and Jack Rivers from Devon Biodiversity Record Centre (DBRC) very kindly led a group of Wildlife Wardens on a County Wildlife Site (CWS) Meadow training session, at the end of May. It was a glorious morning spent in the sunshine at the Ruggadon Nature reserve, surrounded by plants! Paul and Jack showed us step-by-step, how we would go about surveying and completing the relevant forms when looking at lowland meadow sites.

Using this knowledge, CWS trained WWs will be able to complete further surveys across Teignbridge. DBRC has a list of UWS (Unconfirmed Wildlife Sites) that need surveying but not enough surveyors on the ground to get through them quickly. Our WW team can give very practical help with this. Once given CWS status, the site will be given due consideration in any future planning applications close to it.

Please get in touch if you would be interested in finding out more about joining us for CWS surveys 


Bumble Bee ID Training at Deer Park Farm with Debs Rylands

Thank you so much to Teignmouth WW Debs Ryland for running a thoroughly enjoyable Bumblebee ID event at Deer Park Farm. The sun shone but sadly there were very few bumblebees out and about. We wondered whether this was due to the late spring or a general drop in numbers. How are the bumblebee numbers in your area? Everyone made up for it on the day by finding lots of other interesting invertebrates and enjoying the wonderful meadow plants.

For anyone wanting to brush up on their Dragonfly and Damselfly ID skills, dragonfly expert and Chair of Chudleigh Wild, Dave Smallshire, has pointed us towards these really interesting and informative YouTube videos he has produced on the topic.

Dragonflies in Devon
Britain’s Dragonflies –  An Introduction to Damselflies and Dragonflies 
Britain’s Dragonflies – Common Species
Britain’s Dragonflies – Uncommon Species

Stover Country Park, Newton Abbot are looking for 16-25 year olds, who are interested in taking part in monthly dragonfly monitoring, as part of the Restoring Stover Lottery Project. Please pass this on to anyone who might be interested in getting involved. Email restoringstoverpark@devon.gov.uk or Phone 01626 835236 for more information.

It seems to be a year for ticks!

We just wanted to bring ticks to your attention in terms of your risk assessments and making sure people are made aware, at the beginning of any activity or event you might be running.

Although getting a tick is quite likely to happen when we are out fossicking around the countryside, the likelihood of contracting a disease from a tick, such as Lyme’s or Tick Encephalitis, is relatively low. Studies in Europe estimate that 1-5% of tick bites can lead to Lyme’s disease. With this is mind, we would suggest a Likelihood Score of 1 on a risk assessment.

However, the consequence if you were to contract a disease is high, as they can potentially cause lifelong, debilitating illness if not treated promptly. We would suggest a Consequence Score of 4.      

It is always worth bringing this to everyone’s attention and advising precautions such as:

  • Wearing long sleeved tops and tucking trousers into socks
  • Avoiding walking through dense bracken, if possible
  • Using an insect repellent
  • Checking for ticks and removing them correctly to prevent the mouth parts remaining attached
  • Seeking prompt medical attention if you find a rash around a tick bite or have flu-like symptoms a few days or weeks following a tick bite

Dates for your Diary

26th JuneWater Quality talk with speakers from the SW Peatland Project and the Environment Agency, organised by ACTs 4Fs group. Teign Valley Community Hall, Bowden Room
28th June Yellow Rattle Seed Collection, Trusham
9th July WW Identifying Butterflies and Day-Flying Moths with Peter Hurst from Butterfly Conservation
16th JulyBioblitz and WW Social Event, Lower Ashton
Date July/Aug TBCWW Visit to Ridgetop Park near Exminster, with a Teignbridge District Council Ranger
Please email me if you are interested in coming along to an event vicky@actionclimateteignbridge.org

Yellow Rattle Seed Collection

Audrey is planning to collect yellow rattle seeds at her farm on June 28th. If you would like to collect seeds for your own project on this date, please get in touch vicky@actionclimateteignbridge.org

If you are unable to make this date but would like seeds, please send a stamped addressed envelope to:
Audrey Compton (Yellow Rattle), Deer Park Farm, Trusham, Devon
Please let us know the approximate area you would like to use the seeds for. We would be grateful for any small donation for this which will go into the Wildlife Warden Scheme.

Water Quality in Teignbridge – How to make a difference!

Monday 26th of June from 7.30 to 9.30 PM

at the Teign Valley Community Hall

Come and hear about the Citizen Science projects which are measuring and improving the health of our rivers in Teignbridge.

Our speakers:
Anna Seal (West Country Rivers Trusts), Rachel Land (Peatland Restoration Project), Louise Davies (River Teign Restoration Project) and Emma Magee (Environment Agency) will give an overview of their work in Teignbridge.

We will then discuss areas where we can work together to improve the water quality of our rivers/ estuaries and plans for the future.

Come along, get involved and take part in the discussion!

Book your place HERE

Join us for refreshments at 19.15. Talks will start at 19.30 and there will be a Q&A sessions at the end.

Round up of Wildlife Warden Activity Across Teignbridge

Abbotskerswell WWs are in the second year of an “Eco Church Project” and ran a mini bioblitz of the churchyard. 133 species were recorded. A negative backlash from some residents regarding the new mowing regime was put to bed by the supportive vicar. Hurrah!   

Shira helped survey a meadow in Dunsford as a possible County Wildlife Site and will be opening up her meadow for Moor Meadows on 25th June, whilst raising money for the Wildlife Warden scheme. Thank you!

Bradley Ward
NEW Wildlife Warden for Highweek – welcome Jules!  

Chudleigh WWs have been involved in the Riverfly surveys as part of the River Teign Restoration Project. They have been surveying the Kate Brook and River Teign, helping to determine long term trends in water quality and invertebrate populations. Wardens will also start sampling the Brook as part of the Westcountry Rivers Trust CSI  again, all providing baseline data for the Brook which is especially important as there is further proposed housing development planned in the area.

WW Sue, along with husband Dave, have written a packed newsletter for the Chudleigh Wild Group. This contains information about frog populations, the new Chudleigh nature trail, the power of dandelions, Cirl Buntings and what to feed hedgehogs.

WW Val, along with a small team of wardens, surveyed Badgers Wood near Ashburton as a potential County Wildlife Site – we look forward to the result of this.

NEW Wildlife Warden for Chudleigh – welcome Barbara!  

What a fantastic event the Dawlish WWs achieved with the Turn the Tide Festival at the end of May. The sun shone and lots of people were out talking about all things environment, nature and climate whilst having lots of fun. ACT ran a busy stand and we had a stream of interest to the Wildlife Warden display. Everyone loved Audrey’s “Box of Treasures” along with the barn owl pellets containing tiny bones! It was great to have so many discussions and especially lots of children, curious and interested.

The Dawlish wardens have also had success with a recent Tree Protection Order being confirmed for a group of trees along the boundary of Dawlish Cemetery. Excellent news!

NEW Wildlife Warden for Dawlish – welcome Mandy!

Joanna helped survey a meadow in Dunsford as a potential County Wildlife Site. Thank you! 

Julia has been doing Riverfly surveys in Reedy Brook and Fingle Brook. She organised to survey a meadow in Dunsford as a potential County Wildlife Site along with Shira, Joanna and myself. The meadow was packed with Greater and Common Bird’s Foot Trefoil, Knapweed, Meadowsweet, Meadow Vetchling and Corky Fruited Water Dropwort, along with many others. A glorious morning! 

RSPB Cirl Bunting surveys are also taking place, with several Cirl Buntings having been seen in Dunsford recently. A regular wildlife meeting took place in The Palk Arms with discussion about wildflower verge management to create a diversity of habitats, solitary bees, wren behaviour and swift surveys.

We have THREE NEW Wildlife Wardens in Dunsford having completed their training – welcome Helen, Glyn and Jess!

Exminster ran a highly informative and well attended Nature Evening at the end of May with speakers from RSPB, Devon Wildlife Trust and a Ridgetop Park Ranger. Following on from the event, the Exminster Greenspaces team and Wildlife Wardens are planning to create a Wildlife Garden Buddy Network; encouraging the adoption of wildlife friendly management in gardens, linking greenspaces as wildlife corridors through the village and promoting further uptake of the Devon Wildlife Trust Wildlife Garden Award.

Becky and Chris have done the first part of the RSPB Cirl Bunting survey, recording one singing male in their tetrad. It is great to hear that they have also become Parish Counsellors and are on a number of committees including Climate Change, Sustainability and Planning.

Sheree and Linda completed the Riverfly training in April and have been sampling at Benedicts Bridge and further upstream toward Ilsington, as well as a site at Heathfield. Sheree continues to sample several sites on the Liverton Brook for the Westcountry Rivers Trust CSI and I am keenly awaiting my first kit to arrive so I can start sampling the River Sig. Linda and Sheree have started conversations with the village hall committee, discussing a possible wildflower area behind the hall which they are hoping to get local school children involved with.

NEW Wildlife Warden for Kingsteignton – welcome Robin!  

WW Ali ran a stand to promote discussion and interest in a newly proposed wildlife area for the local park in Starcross. Around 50 people attended the event with the official project title now being “Starcross Goes Wild”!

Thank you so much for all your hard work – let’s keep celebrating all our positive achievements across Teignbridge! 

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 you 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. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *