Devon SSSI nature reserve and eco lodges - Maggie's Blog
Many many thanks to the group of botanists, led by Devon ecologist Mary Breeds, who came and catalogued what's in Popehouse Moor yesterday. The last survey I know about was in 1987 - it recorded some specialities and many of the common culm species, but can't have been extensive as it missed lots of common 'unmissable' species. The total on that list was 68 and yesterday we got approximately 180, including a few weeds in the farmyard.
I'm particularly proud of those actually, because just a week or so ago we had our Visit Britain grading for Otter Cottage - and one of the 'quality' criterea is a weed-free parking spot! I couldn't bear to pull all the flowers up, resolving to excuse them as part of our habitat management. So I was delighted to see Bob and Maxine engrossed in them.
Here's one of the flowers out at the moment on Popehouse Moor - sneezewort or Achillea ptarmica. I've been promised a complete list of the day's finds once it's put together, so I'll update the nature reserve page later.
The biggest overall thing I drew from the day is that Popehouse Moor would have been wetter in the past - yes, even wetter if you were one of our intrepid guests who took guided walks last year.... The main thing we need to do is to carry on scrub bashing the encroaching bramble and willow which is helping to dry out the site. So that will be our ongoing winter priority. There's a lot to do though. Anyone want an off-peak break in return for some hard labour?? We'll have to have the Westbury squash players back again.
Don't know what this is but the colour was lovely...