Conservation diary: Green shoots around the corner?

Mike Newby

Mike Newby is Estate Warden at The Dartington Hall Trust. He oversees Dartington’s numerous conservation programmes, often working closely with our volunteers to help nature flourish across the estate.

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In January there are few plants showing, although the yellow hazel catkins can be seen in the woodlands and hedgerows.

Amongst the hardy bedding plants and perennials showing colour in the gardens here at Dartington, there are signs of the emerging snowdrops which tend to flower during this month.

Catkins and snowdrops
Catkins and snowdrops

 

Amphibians and reptiles all hibernate throughout the winter. Newts will be hibernating under logs and some newts will be making their way to breed in the ponds.

Devon is usually milder than most counties on average – with the more temperate climate you might be lucky enough to see the first of the common frogspawn, if that’s your thing!

Also, you will see flocks of birds such as thrushes, sparrows and chaffinches searching for berries in our hedgerows, an environment getting a makeover at Dartington at the moment.

They flock together to protect themselves from predators as there is less cover and vegetation during the winter months.

Mike

 

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