March 2021 Newsletter

Teignbridge Wildlife Warden Newsletter

March 2021

Hi all,

Spring is here! The emergence of life after the long dreary winter months is what makes this my favourite time of the year. It is always uplifting to see the first celandine flowers emerge, followed closely by pollinators, such as the early bumblebee. Soon, the swallows, swifts and house martins will be returning. 
A patch of wood anemone growing beside the River Lemon. A group of up to 100 flowering stems could come from a single plant! Wood anemones, along with a number of other species, including bluebells, wild garlic and primroses are indicators of ancient woodland. You can find useful information about ancient woodland on the Woodland Trust website
We are very fortunate to have been awarded £7,500 in funding from the Devon Environment Foundation (who awarded us £5,000 a few months ago). This means that ACT are able to contract the coordinator (Flavio) for 20 hours per week instead of 9.5 hours.

Thank you to all of our funders: Devon Environment Foundation, the Nineveh Trust, Cllr Jackie Hook’s Locality Fund, Dartmoor National Park Authority and Teign Energy Communities Community Fund.
Training sessions
Now that the covid situation is improving, we are starting to offer training, in person, to small groups of Wildlife Wardens. The first two Wildflower Identification Sessions were held in Woodland at Deer Park Farm. I (Flavio) was fortunate to attend one of these and learnt about various fascinating plants, including toothwort (Lathraea squamaria), which is a parasite of hazel and is nationally scarce.

We plan to offer training in other areas, including aquatic invertebrate ID, planning and development, species and habitat surveys and leading volunteer groups. 

Audrey has been busy writing lots of training documents, which can be found on our website Projects and training – ACT Wildlife Wardens (
Wildlife Warden podcast
Emily Marbaix, a Wildlife Warden for Abbotskerswell, has created a podcast about the Wildlife Warden scheme. You can listen to the first episode on Spotify or on Apple Podcasts. Emily talks about local wildlife/reserves, some of the things that Wildlife Wardens have been up to and explains why she got involved with the scheme. The podcast also includes some great advice on what you can do to help wildlife!

If you have any news that could be included in the next episode, please share them on the discussion groups or send them to
Creating and managing verges talk
Moor Meadows are hosting their final webinar of the year on the 14th April at 7pm. There will be two main speakers – Dr Kate Petty from Plantlife and Leo Gubert from Highways England – who will talk about the importance of wildflower verges. You can sign up here Life on the Edge: creating and managing wildlife-friendly verges Tickets, Wed 14 Apr 2021 at 19:00 | Eventbrite

Recordings of their previous webinars can be found here Moor Meadows – YouTube
Current projects
Here is an overview of some of the wonderful things that you have been up to.
Sarah Cochrane is organising a wildflower and seed distribution in collaboration with Sustainable Bishopsteignton. She planted 150 plants and will give them away with information sheets. These include interesting facts and folklore. One tale is that red campion guards the bees’ honey and also shields hiding fairies from discovery. It is certainly an important ally of bees and other pollinators.
Wildlife Wardens in the village were successful in an application for 400 saplings from the Woodland Trust, and have been given permission by a local landowner to plant a hedge. During the end of February, the group set up toad patrols throughout the village. On one night they helped 44 toads!
They created a wildflower ID poster to be distributed throughout the parish, and also carried out a biodiversity audit of a site for Dawlish Climate Declaration Working Group. 
Wildlife Wardens are managing a community meadow and have completed winter management. They are soon to take a delivery of a number of benches so that the local community can sit and enjoy wildlife.
Kingsteignton Wildlife Wardens helped the Town Council to plant 100 trees in Clifford Park and have plans for other projects around the town.
Ogwild have seeded several new wildflower strips and are continuing to plant verges with species that are beneficial for wildlife. They have planted 14 trees across the village (provided by DWT’s Saving Devon’s Treescapes Project). They have also set up a seed swap in the old village.
Keep up the brilliant work and enjoy the good weather!

Best wishes,



  1. Wildlife wardens are a great idea. Will you be campaigning to stop the destruction of the ancient oak tree in Starcross? There is an alternative which I think should be pursued Maybe you will have some influence over this decision.

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