Latest posts

04 Feb 17

Planting parkland trees

To bring the parkland to life we have a programme of tree planting to undertake over the next 10 years and beyond. These trees will be parkland, open grown trees. So far we have put 30 trees around the parkland, a mix of native trees and some rare ornamentals such as the Lebanese Cedars. Locations of the trees are chosen to enhance the finest views and so as not to obstruct any over or underground services etc. A lot of thought has to go into this, what will this tree look like in 1-300 years’ time? The trees need to be protected from livestock with these handsome oak tree guards. They are made from estate timber by volunteers and placed around each tree after it’s planted. We will need to make sure to weed our trees and keep a close eye on them to make sure they are healthy. These guards can come down once the tree is big enough to fend for itself. By that time we hope lots of mosses and lichens have established on the oak guards, ready to live on the mature tree inside it!

Planting parkland trees

10 Jan 17

Ponies return to the Clump

The ponies are back for their winter grazing on Dolbury hill fort. We have four ponies this year, from member of the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust. The ponies will do a great job at munching off bramble and scrub to make way for spring flowers. By keeping the bramble down we can keep the hill fort earth works clear. This will protect them from over turning roots of woody vegetation and make it easier for visitors to enjoy the full scale of this special, historic place.

killerton grazing devon conservation dartmoor pony

14 Dec 16

Dead good dead wood

Have you noticed the amazing dead and decaying wood in Killerton Park? Decaying wood is full of life, like fungi, insects and even bats, which is why we leave branches where they fall. Species of invertebrate that rely on dead or decaying wood are called saproxylic. In years past land managers have ‘tidied up’ dead wood from their wooded areas. We want to encourage decaying wood habitat in our parkland. It is a rare and niche habitat which supports many scarce or rare insects and more. Deadwood that is still standing, like this oak tree is even rarer!

Ranger chestnut veteran tree parkland killerton devon