Our nature reserves
Emergency seabird survey
Take part in a sponsored walk or cycle ride
Why not give some time to help out with conservation work on the Culm Measures?
DWT has many Culm grassland sites that it looks after and our nature reserves team are always looking for more volunteers.
For more details visit our Volunteer Opportunities webpage
Working Wetlands is a long-term project working alongside landowners to recreate a Living Landscape in the Culm area of Devon. The project works across three target areas.
- Knowstone and Witheridge
- Hollow Moor
- Torridge and Tamar headwaters
In 2011 the project received a significant boost thanks to £1million funding from South West Water. The funding came from the company's ambitious Upstream Thinking initiative.
What is Culm?
Culm grasslands are internationally important - they are home to some of the nation’s most threatened wildlife, such as the marsh fritillary butterfly and the narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth.
Culm serves other important functions like reducing pollution in watercourses by acting as a buffer from more intensive agriculture upstream. The impacts of unseasonably high rainfall are reduced as the land acts like a sponge, absorbing high levels of rainfall and then slowly releasing the water during periods of drought.
One of the main threats to Culm wildlife is habitat fragmentation. Sites are often very small and widely spaced, which leaves species requiring Culm for their survival in a precarious position. Find out more about Culm grassland
Culm grassland decline
There have been huge losses of Culm grassland in the last hundred years. Over 50% was lost during the late 1980s and early 1990s due to the effects of poorly targeted farm subsidy which indirectly encouraged farmers to plough these grasslands to plant crops. Only 10% of the resource present in 1900 still survives.
What Devon Wildlife Trust is doing
Through Working Wetlands, Devon Wildlife Trust is helping landowners carry out targeted habitat management, creation and restoration projects. The result will be better linked areas of Culm grasslands in the wider countryside.
Advisory work with landowners
Find out more about the Working Wetlands advisory service, small grants scheme, machinery ring, Grazing Links and how to get in touch with the team on our advisory work pages.
Culm nature reserves
Work being carried out on DWT's Culm grassland nature reserves has also formed a significant part of the Working Wetlands project. For more information about this ground breaking work visit the GrantScape special project page.
Watch the film
View the 10 minute project video which gives more information about Working Wetlands and its partners.
This project has been supported by the following organisations, along with the Garfield Weston Foundation: