St Swithun’s Church in Sandford has won an award for encouraging wildlife and people to enjoy its churchyard. It all started three years ago when the Church was given an extra piece of land and a team of volunteers got together to make the churchyard more environmentally friendly. They are delighted to be runners up in the Best Devon Churchyard Competition but, as team member Jean Hope explains, the rewards go way beyond winning a prize.
A few weeks after his first blog on otters was published on this site, ecologist Paul Chanin was delighted to receive an email from a reader. Not only because it proved that he had at least one reader but also because she had just seen otters on a tributary of the Creedy. Since then he has had a couple of other records of otters seen in the catchment this year, something that would have been unheard of when he first came to the area in the 1980s.
The blogs on our website reflect local life in very special ways. We all know our lives have changed over the last few months and some of our blog writers tell the story of their own challenges and responses. Our picture editor, Nancy Murgatroyd, picks some highlights from our most recent postings.
The first beavers to live wild in England for centuries are to be allowed to remain on the River Otter in East Devon after a five-year reintroduction trial. Ecologist Paul Chanin reports on the Crediton link to this recent government announcement, the environmental benefits and challenges of beavers and the prospects of them returning to the River Creedy.
It’s been a bumper year for dragonflies and local ecologist Paul Chanin has been observing and photographing them in his garden. In this report, he explains how to tell a dragon from a damselfly and gives us a fascinating insight into the habits and lifecycle of these remarkable insects.
Like many species, hedgehog populations have declined in recent years, but they are still doing quite well in urban areas. They are certainly present in Crediton and if your garden is not too isolated nor tidy, it is quite likely that you too have a spiny nocturnal visitor, as ecologist Paul Chanin discovered.