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Spring is Flowering at last

February 18

Wild Daffodils are just coming into bloom!  I helped lead a walk on Sunday which featured both snowdrops and wild daffodils, and should be lovely for a few more weeks yet.  The path goes along the River Avon, following the disused railway line that ran between South Brent and Kingsbridge.  Delightful woodland and an impressive selection of bridges with Dartmoor granite running along the top and beautiful brick arches underneath.  We started at the Avon Mill garden centre near Loddiswell and walked upstream. 

Two other places to see wild daffodils (on Dartmoor) are:  

* Hembury Woods near Buckfast – just head downhill towards the river and you’ll find them; and

* Dunsford Woods at Steps Bridge on the eastern edge of the moor (details here: http://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/reserve/Dunsford/ ).  This site was almost stripped bare of its flowers in past years as people showed up in droves to pick them.  An education campaign by Devon Wildlife Trust has mercifully put a stop to that and now there are carpets of them.  

Wild daffodils are shorter and a paler yellow than most cultivated varieties – nature arranges them so beautifully along the river banks and in the forest glades that they don’t need size or brightness to look amazing. And growing near them there's also masses of wood anemones and primroses.  Because both these sites are higher than the Avon valley, it will probably be a week or two before the daffodils are in full bloom.

I'm already looking forward to bluebell season, which is my all-time favourite on Dartmoor.  And with the bluebells, come the cuckoos.... and hopefully some sunny days to enjoy them in.

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