September 2021 Newsletter

Teignbridge Wildlife Warden Newsletter 

September 2021

Hi all,

It is starting to feel very autumnal and our wildlife is busy preparing for the upcoming winter. For many people it can be a dark and gloomy time of the year, but it is also a brilliant time to watch wildlife! Bird migrations are in full swing, fungi will appear with the recent rain and the annual deer rut will soon be underway. It is also a busy time of the year for tree planting and sowing wildflower seeds, and I look forward to seeing lots of new habitats being created
A recent wildlife sighting – I found this blackening waxcap on the NW coast of Scotland whilst on holiday. Look out for waxcaps over the next few weeks as it gets wetter! You can record waxcaps on Plantlife’s new citizen science app. This is important, as they are indicators of rare, undisturbed (not ploughed or fertilised) grassland. We aim to offer a waxcap walk to Wildlife Wardens over the next couple of months
Talk by Cath Jeffs from the RSPB
Cath Jeffs, who is a Conservation Officer with the RSPB with a particular focus on cirl buntings, gave a fantastic talk to Wildlife Wardens, the Ecology group and 4F’s group. You can watch a recording of the talk here

Cath spoke about the cirl bunting recovery project, including habitat management, working with farmers, community engagement and the impacts of development. The project has been so successful that cirl bunting pairs rocketed from barely more than 100 pairs in the early 1990’s to over 1,000 in 2016. Much of this success is down to Cath’s experience in working with landowners to foster an interest in wildlife!
Other webinars
Wild about Devon are hosting three webinars during October. You can sign up here.
  • 13/10/21 – Devon Hedge Group – The benefits that hedges bring as well as advice on hedgerow management and survey techniques. 
  • 25/10/21 – Butterfly Conservation – Importance of moths and the impact of light pollution on their populations.
  • 28/10/21 – UK Commission for Dark Skies and CPRE – The night sky and the importance of getting lighting right.

The Devon Rewilding Network hosted a talk by Fiona Crouch (Project Manager of LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES) about seagrass restoration and marine rewilding. You can watch a recording of the talk here.

Recent events
Thanks to everyone who helped on the Wildlife Warden stand during the Great Big Green Week. We reached roughly 300-400 people in total at both events. Hopefully we inspired more people to help wildlife in their gardens and to go out looking for the amazing array of species that we have in Teignbridge. I found it to be a very positive experience, as it showed that so many people really do care about wildlife.

Throughout September, Audrey hosted several wildflower seed collection days for WWs. It was also another great opportunity to learn wildflower identification!

Many thanks to Sue Smallshire, Dave Smallshire and Tess Frost for providing such an interesting bat walk for WWs. It was great to see lots of rare greater horseshoe bats and to learn how Chudleigh Wild manages habitat for bats and other wildlife.
Current projects
Here is an overview of some of the wonderful things that you have been up to.
Sarah Cochrane’s  wildflower art competition was a great success. Artwork from local primary school children was exhibited at Bishopsteignton Festival and all children were given a pack of wildflower seed to take home.

Bovey Tracey
Bovey WWs surveyed the flora of two churchyards and submitted records via iRecord. They made contact with the head ranger at Yarner Wood and will help to set up dormice tunnels at the reserve.
Broadhempston WWs held a wildlife stand at the Broadhempston Eco Fair.

Chudleigh Wild’s wildlife gardening scheme has to date engaged over 80 households throughout the town. They also hosted the Chudleigh Open Gardens event. The group organised several volunteer work parties to manage the ‘Bat Fields’ reserve. They also provided a couple of hugely successful bat evenings for local families as well as several training sessions for members of their bat group.
Dunsford WWs have been engaging with the local community through the parish magazine and their most recent article featured hedgehogs! Julia has been surveying the hedgerows throughout the parish and has gained permission to seed yellow rattle (a parasite of grass) at the village churchyard in the hope of improving the abundance of wildflowers.
Peter has reserved a stand for the Wildlife Warden Scheme at the Exminster Environment Group’s Autumn Show.
Holcombe Burnell
Kate met with her local churchwarden and took part in the Bats in Churches citizen science survey. They found common pipistrelle bats using a yew tree and hedges! She has continued to test the water quality of local streams for the Westcountry CSI and reported dead hedgehogs on PTES’s Hedgehog Street Map.
Kenn WWs ran a parish wildlife gardening competition which attracted 10 entries! The community meadow is flourishing thanks to Will, Graham and a team of local volunteers.
The Ogwild group organised a moth trapping session for the local community and brought in Barry Henwood, who is the Devon moth recorder. 65 species were recorded! The group is bulk buying wildflower seed, which will be offered to parishioners (at a small cost) in a bid to encourage more wildflowers in gardens.

It is great to see so many projects happening across Teignbridge. Over the last couple of months, we have reached hundreds of people through community engagement events. Keep up the brilliant work!

Best wishes,


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