September 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to the September newsletter. After a hot start to the month things have shifted and have an autumnal feel. Hedges are laden with berries and the swallows have been gathering, ready to leave south. Wildlife Wardens across Teignbridge have been continuing with their wonderful work throughout the summer.

This month:

Ridgetop Park Visit

Is all development bad? The rangers at Ridgetop Park near Exeter were kind enough to take Wildlife Wardens on a tour of this evolving Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANGS). The park is positioned to take the pressure of walkers (especially dog walkers) away from local conservation areas, whilst providing a green space for people living in new housing developments on the outskirts of Exeter. Thank you so much to the rangers for giving such an informative and interesting tour for everyone.

Kennick Reservoir County Wildlife Site Survey

A group of us had a really wonderful morning exploring and surveying the land around Kennick Reservoir last week. There was a wealth of interesting flora and it felt very special to be out in the sunshine, seeing a beautiful space we would not normally have access to. We spent the day gathering species data, which will be collated into a report for Devon Biodiversity Record Centre to assess as a potential County Wildlife Site.

Hazel Gloves Fungus (Hypocreopsis rhododendri)

Please do get in touch if you would like to be involved with these surveys in the future – it is a great way to meet and learn with other Wildlife Wardens whilst playing a valuable part in getting special habitats recognised and protected.     

Small Elephant Hawkmoth

Running a “Moth Breakfast”

WW Helen ran a very successful “Moth Breakfast” in Trusham churchyard in June. Thirty children and adults attended the event and were thrilled to be introduced to lots of different species by a local expert. Helen has very kindly written a report about the morning which hopefully may inspire other WWs to run similar events for their own local community next year.

If you would like to be put in direct contact with Helen for more information, please contact me.

River Teign Restoration Project

Would you like to be more involved in your local waterway? The River Teign Restoration Project covers the River Teign and tributaries as far as Teign Bridge. The project is looking for more volunteers to take part in Riverfly surveys next year which will target important areas, such as spawning sites upstream and downstream of sewage works. A training session will be likely to run in April 2024. For anyone interested in being involved please contact Louise for further information.

The project is also looking to coordinate a training day this autumn to run through sampling techniques and recording data for the Westcountry Rivers Trust CSI water quality testing. This citizen science project is not limited to the River Teign and if you are interested in attending please also contact Louise or the Westcountry Rivers Trust directly.  

Please do let me know if you start volunteering on one of these projects as a Wildlife Warden.

Promoting the Devon Wildlife Gardening Award in your Parish

Several WWs have been actively promoting the DWT Wildlife Gardening Award in their parish. This can be a great way to start inspiring your local community to be more wildlife aware – it’s got to be cool to have a plaque, right?! Promoting an existing scheme can be an easy way for Wildlife Wardens to make an impact – maybe promoting it in an article in your parish magazine, a poster in your local shop or village hall, or just getting your own plaque and starting to talk to others about how and why you have it.

Exminster have gone one step further and Wildlife Warden Jeremy, from Exminster Greenspaces writes:

The Exminster Greenspaces Volunteers have just launched a new WhatsApp based network of Wildlife Gardeners. While the volunteers continue to develop community spaces for people and wildlife, we felt it would be fantastic to encourage similar good practice at home. The WhatsApp network is there to share ideas, support and inspiration, especially for those finding their way and feeling less confident about what will get their gardens buzzing. Exminster has had a great response to the Devon Wildlife Trust, wildlife garden award scheme and this initiative should help that grow and add to the habitat stepping-stones across the village.

The Greenspaces team in Exminster would love to hear from other groups looking to do the same or join the Exminster community already taking shape.

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dates for your Diary

Wednesday 18th October Seed swap and share morning
Date tbc
Waxcap and fungi walk
Date tbc
Training in hedgerow surveying
Please email me if you are interested in coming along to an event

Round up of Wildlife Warden Activity Across Teignbridge

Bridford WW Lucy has been actively involved with a project to create an information board in her local bus shelter, giving insight into wildlife and verge management in the village. The bus shelter was given an official opening celebration, organised by the Parish Council! Please get in touch if you are interested in doing something similar in your own parish as I’m sure Lucy would be very happy to share her experience. 

Lucy has also been writing articles for Unity and on the Bridford village website. She has been pleased to hear that people have been doing things with wildlife in mind as a result of this– an excellent result!

Broadhempston The two lovely WWs in Broadhempston, Harry and Hugo, were kind enough to show me a project they had been involved with last year, along with Broadhempston Wild. The group planted a hedge and a small area of trees on the village sports field and these are growing on well. The trees were carefully sited to not impact the recreational aspects of the sports field; creating a new, important habitat in an otherwise unused corner.  

Christow Welcomes new Wildlife Warden Paul!

Chudleigh Welcomes new Wildlife Warden Sue! WW Barbara has been working on Car Idling Awareness in the village and has posters to display around the town.

Dunsford WW Julia continued to collect wildflower seeds during August and this month will be putting these into envelopes to be given away at Dunsford village shop. Julia has also been involved in several work parties pulling Himalayan Balsam and has written an article for the local parish magazine (Unity) with information about this. Next year Julia would like involve more Wildlife Wardens in trying to eradicate Himalayan Balsam in the Teign Valley during August, please get in touch if this is something you would be interested in being involved with. Julia continues to assess sites in the Teign valley and surrounding area, for suitability for Pine Marten introduction next year as part of the Devon Wildlife Trust project.

Exminster WWs and Greenspace volunteers have reached agreement with the Housing Association (Teign Housing) to plant a tree on land associated with a group of their properties. If any other WWs are aware of Teign Housing properties on your patch, with potential opportunities for planting please get in touch so we can help direct you.

Hennock WW Chris has been developing a biodiversity database for Hennock Parish with the intention of raising awareness of wildlife in the parish.  The initial version has gone live on the Hennock Parish Council’s webpage and combines data from numerous sources as well as Parishioner’s sightings. Chris is hoping to add pictures and develop maps of biodiversity hotspots in the future. A great project!  

Ilsington WW Linda ran a very successful Wildlife Gardening table at the recent village hall table top sale. Linda had a great selection of plants for sale, as well as free seeds and information. Linda and Sheree have also written an article for the parish magazine about gardening for wildlife during autumn and hedgehogs.

I popped a DWT Devon Bat Survey detector up in my garden for 3 nights at the beginning of the month and was really excited to record 11 species in my garden! I will compile a poster to display in the local noticeboard to highlight the species we have around us here, which I’m sure many people would not be aware of.

Starcross WW Ali has written a piece for the local newsletter letting the community know about action for wildlife being taken locally, including a nature area in the play park and the start of a wildflower nursery. Ali is looking to involve people with “community planting days” in the future.    

Stokenteignhead Welcomes new Wildlife Warden Samantha!

ACTs Public Engagement Group

ACT would love to get to as local parish events as possible but we do not always hear about them. Please could you either get in touch with Pauline or myself if there is a parish event you think ACT and the Wildlife Wardens could come along to.

ACT Website

ACT have also asked that any events that WWs are running are popped onto the ACT website Events Area please.

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 as it does not automatically change the Wildlife Warden database. Many thanks. 

Thank you for all your continued support and amazing action for nature this month. Please keep your updates coming – we love to hear what you have all been doing .


Leave a comment

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