Moor Medieval Symposium

We’ve had a superb response to our symposium. All the general release tickets have now been booked! I am waiting to hear from a few invited guests to make sure they are coming. If there are any spare tickets I will release them on February 16th

You will be able to book them through http://moormedieval.brownpapertickets.com

If you are unable to attend or have not been able to get a ticket but are interested in the Moor Medieval Project and any future events please email me so I can keep you informed and I can add you to our regular newsletter update

Andy Bailey –  abailey@dartmoor.gov.uk

February Scheme News

Its been a busy first month for the MTMTE project team, getting to grips with the overall scheme and the individual projects that make it up. We are now very much at home in our office up at Princetown and happy to say hello to all of you if you are popping by. The weather has proved a bit tricky on a couple of occasions with snow and ice but nothing to stop us yet! You get a real sense of the whole scheme and how it sits in such a dynamic landscape as you drive through it each morning.

The team has been out and about visiting some of the projects. We got out earlier in the month for an excellent tour of Higher Uppacott, medieval longhouse to discover why it is so special and see what works were planned for this year as part of MTMTE

Project leads

With 28 projects making up the overall scheme MTMTE will be working closely with the individual project leads to ensure we deliver what we said we would and on budget. The first project leads meeting was held on Thursday 5th February at Ilsington Village Hall and it provided an opportunity to meet up with the new team and share progress so far.  It was also a chance to see the bigger picture and how the projects fit together to tell the story of the people and landscape of Dartmoor over 4,000 years.

Landscape Partnership Board Meeting

The Board will meet quarterly to provide an executive role overseeing the management of the scheme and the project team. The next board meeting will be on Wednesday 27th February at Princetown

Working with local schools

It has been a busy month working with the new MTMTE team and helping them become more familiar with the fantastic range of projects that make up the scheme.

In between I have been working with Chudleigh Knighton C of E Primary School and Moretonhampstead Primary School developing links between the schools and the National Nature Reserve at East Dartmoor.

These visits have helped the children explore the natural world both on their doorstep and out at the reserve.

On the 29th January I worked with Moretonhampstead taking part in the RSPB Big Schools Birdwatch. I went into the school and helped them survey their school grounds and introduced them to basic bird id techniques. The day was also an opportunity to discuss the Moorland Birds project which is part of MTMTE.

The children had a great time, although it did become increasingly wintery as the day progressed. Roll on the spring and birdwatching in the sunshine!

As part of the Woodland Trust’s work with MTMTE there will be a Woodcraft Activity Day for schools on Friday 13th February and a public open day on the 14th. Chudleigh Knighton and Widecombe Primary schools are booked in and will investigate woodland management past and present- watching a mobile saw mill processing felled timber and working with Running Deer to look at traditional greenwoodcrafts such as polelathing and hurdle making. Chudleigh Knighton will be able to see timber being planked which will become a seat in their school grounds where they do their forest school sessions

For more information contact Andy Bailey abailey@dartmoor.gov.uk

Parishscapes Update

Emma-Stockley-IDBadgeI’m Emma Stockley, the Community Heritage Officer. Now that myself and the rest of the MTMTE team are in post and settling into our roles at our Princetown base, work has started in earnest to get four of the fourteen parish projects off the ground and running.  Over the last few weeks, we have been looking at some of the project proposals that have been put forward and will be meeting with Moretonhampstead and Ashburton to look at how these projects fit within MTMTE and its broad aims.  Some members of the MTMTE team made a site visit to North Bovey two weeks ago and have since been providing advice and guidance to complement North Bovey’s project ideas.  We’re looking forward to attending a parish meeting soon to discuss the ideas with the wider community.  A visit to Lustleigh Archives last week was a great opportunity for us to meet some of those taking part in Parishscapes and to discuss ideas and locations for potential Parishscapes projects.  Between them, the four parishes have come up with a fantastically varied array of ideas and we hope that some (if not all!) will be underway very soon.  If you are from another parish in the MTMTE area, we’d love to hear from you and discuss your ideas and how we might be able to support them.

For more information contact Emma Stockley 01822 890904 or email estockley@dartmoor.gov.uk

Developing new EcoSkills

The Ecoskills trainees (from l to r Patrick, Rebekah, Emma)

The Ecoskills trainees (from l to r Patrick, Rebekah, Emma)

Meet Emma, Patrick and Rebekah, trainees that have just started as part of the EcoSkills project. With their initial training already under way at East Dartmoor NNR, they are developing their skills and experience to complement their underpinning knowledge. For example, Emma, who has a passion for public engagement, is already getting involved in educational events at Yarner Wood and beyond. Patrick, with a focus on habitat and countryside management, is busy organising groups of people to assist with practical tasks at the Reserve. Rebekah, driven by her ecological knowledge and flair, is carrying out wildlife monitoring and research.

To ensure that the trainees maintain an overview of applied conservation management, they won’t limit their training and experience to their specialist areas, and they’ll be working together closely as a team to learn as much as possible from each other. Being part of the wider MTMTE scheme also gives each of them a great opportunity to match their personal development needs with a range of projects.

 

Here’s what the trainees think so far:

Emma: “EcoSkills is exactly what I needed to bridge the gap between my previous work and studies, and the reality of the career path I want. This week I’m doing 4×4 and Forest School training – I couldn’t be happier!”

Patrick: “EcoSkills is enabling me to put my knowledge and training into practice on a variety of habitats whilst working with and learning from the MTMTE partnership organisations and other volunteers. Judging by this first month, it’s going to be a fun and busy year!”

Rebekah: “So far, EcoSkills has enabled me to network with like-minded people, learn new practical skills and explore ecological research opportunities within the Reserve. It will provide me with invaluable experience for my future career in nature conservation!”

To see how the trainees get on, check out their new blog ecoskills.wordpress.com.
For more information contact Linda Corkerton linda.corkerton@naturalengland.org.uk

 

Symposium will launch Moor Medieval Project

Moor Medieval

The Moor Medieval project will be launched with a symposium to look at daily life on Dartmoor during the Middle Ages. The symposium takes place on Saturday 28th February and brings together five leading historians- Nat Alcock, John Allan, Tom Greeves, John Thorpe and Ian Mortimer.

It is hoped that this will be the start of a series of activities that will allow us to understand the fascinating medieval landscape of Dartmoor.

For more information about the programme and how to book your ticket  go to http://moormedieval.brownpapertickets.com

 

Looking forward to big year for Moor than meets the eye

Snow welcomes the new project team to Princetown ( from left Emma, Ellie, Mark, Chrissy and Andy)

Snow welcomes the new project team to Princetown ( from left Emma, Ellie, Mark, Chrissy and Andy)

The Moor than meets the eye Landscape Partnership Scheme took a big step forward this week with the arrival of the full project team. The team will help coordinate the MTMTE scheme, taking on the running of key projects and working alongside colleagues in the partnership to help deliver projects across the wider scheme.

The team are based at The Old Duchy Hotel in Princetown and over the next few weeks they will be out and about across the scheme area meeting project leads and getting to grips with what needs to be done next.

Key to the new team is Scheme Manager Mark Allott who will oversee the spending of the £1.9 million of Heritage Lottery Funding and ensure that the agreed projects are delivered on time. Mark said, “This scheme is all about understanding the story of the people and landscape of Dartmoor over the last 4,000 years. It will help conserve the rich heritage of Dartmoor and strengthen our skills to care for Dartmoor for future generations.  The team are thrilled to have started and can’t wait to help guide project delivery and learn more about Dartmoor”.

Andy Bailey is the Community Officer for the scheme and was part of the team that successfully bid for the Lottery money. He said, “It’s great to welcome in the rest of the team. I’m looking forward to working closely with my new colleagues to make this important scheme a huge success”.

The full team are

Mark Allott – Project Manager 01822 890901

Andy Bailey – Community Officer 01822 890903

Emma Stockley – Community Heritage Officer 01822 890904

Chrissy Mason – Community Ecologist 01822 890904

Ellie Fabiani-Laymond – Finance and Administration Officer 01822 890902

You can read more about the team here

November/ December Newsletter Now Out!

2014_11_19 MTMTE NewsThe November/ December edition of our newsletter is now out. It is available as an e-newsletter just sign up with us and we’ll send you regular monthly updates. Follow this link to our sign up page It’s great because it can summarise what is happening and provide links to more detail, video clips, reports and other peoples websites. For those who prefer a printable copy we are trialling a pdf version.2014_11_19 MTMTE News

Revealing the past…in a day!

Clearing a hut circle on Chagford CommonWalk up on the moor today and you may only bump into the odd sheep, cow or pony but over 3,000 years ago the moor would have been heavily populated. There are an estimated 5,000 hut circles that have been found so far on Dartmoor. With so many hut circles to look after, stopping nature closing in on them and engulfing them is a major task. Fortunately for most of them we can look to our four legged friends to graze around them, trample the bracken and keep them open. However in some cases grazing stock is not enough and we need to step in and lend a hand and this is where Moor than meets the eye is hoping to help.

On Wednesday 5th November on a beautiful autumn day, we joined forces with Chagford Conservation Volunteers, Pete Rich- National Park Ranger and Andy Crabb- Archaeologist and Historic Environment Field Advisor for the National Park to clear bracken from 5 hut circles on Chagford Common. The hut circles were heavily overgrown and were difficult to see but with 20 of us to get stuck in we made good progress cutting bracken to reveal the substantial walls of the huts. Cutting at this time of year weakens the bracken and removes the thatch meaning that new shoots will come back less vigorously. We’ll need to make several more visits over the next year or two to repeat the process but it should get easier with every visit.
Working alongside Andy we are keen to work with other voluntary groups to look after monuments near you. Get in touch if you’d like to help.

Showcase for Volunteering on Dartmoor

We set out to create a showcase for volunteering opportunities relating to wildlife and to highlight all the fantastic work that goes on across East Dartmoor NNR, on Dartmoor and around Devon. Thanks to all the hard work of our friends and volunteers across 12 organisations we certainly achieved that!

The Volunteering Taster Day, held on 1st November was organised like a recruitment fair with stalls and activities staffed by volunteers highlighting the great work they undertake. Feedback from visitors on the day was that they were excellent and that everyone was very friendly and informative.

This was the first time we had run such an event so we were very pleased that 15 people expressed strong interest – many in more than one area of volunteering. We are now following up these contacts.

We are now looking at the possibility of running another volunteering taster event for the MTMTE scheme at another location in the Spring.

Below is a list of the organisations and opportunities being showcased at the event.

Bat Monitoring, Fingle Wood Volunteers – Woodland Trust

Bird Monitoring, Butterfly Surveying, Data Webbers, Estate Maintenance, History Hunters, Sunday Practical Task Group, Science, Operation Otter –Natural England

Devon Butterfly Conservation

Devon Fly Group

Devon Fungi Group

Devon Lichen Group

Devon Moth Group

Devon Reptile and Amphibian Group (DRAG)

Kelly Mine

Moor than meets the eye Landscape Partnership

Pied-fly.net

Plantlife

Wildlife Hit Squad