Making space for nature at Teigngrace Meadow

Teigngrace Meadow. Photo, Andrew Taylor

The support of a generous benefactor is helping us transform our Teigngrace Meadow nature reserve
Volunteers clearing scrub vegetation at Teigngrace Meadow

Support from Viridor Credits Environmental Company has allowed us to make big improvements to Teigngrace Meadow in 2018. Photo, Kevin McDonagh

Teigngrace Meadow nature reserve will be familiar to anyone who regularly uses the A38 as it passes the Drumbridges roundabout close to Stover and Bovey Heathfield. Its towering mound sits just to the south of the major road and was created from spoil: the discarded workings of large scale local clay extraction projects.

The 33 hectare site became Teigngrace Meadow nature reserve in 2016 when Devon Wildlife Trust took over its care and management. The introduction of cattle on to the site was an initial priority for the charity which wished to expand the reserve’s grassland areas. However, a lack of good fencing and a water supply remained barriers which even frustrated this ambition and threatened the future of the site’s rich mix of wildflowers, which included the rare green-winged orchid; insects, including grizzled skipper butterflies; and birds, including skylarks and meadow pipits.

The answer to the problem came in August 2018 when £19,600 of generous support was secured from Viridor Credits Environmental Company which funds community, heritage and biodiversity projects through the Landfill Communities Fund.  The money has been used by Devon Wildlife Trust in works which now have just been completed and which included the clearance of existing areas of scrub vegetation and the installation of 280 metres of new stock-proof fencing, along with two gates, a 10,000 litre water tank, pumps, underground pipework and cattle troughs.   

It’s a wonderful nature reserve to visit with wonderful views
Andrew Taylor
Volunteer, Devon Wildlife Trust
Installing water supply for cattle at Teigngrace Meadow

Support from Viridor Credits Environmental Company has allowed us to install a water supply for grazing cattle

Devon Wildlife Trust’s Andy Bakere manages the nature reserve and explained the difference support has made:

“Funding from Viridor Credits Environmental Company has allowed us to make some key changes which will help local wildlife. The provision of a water supply and stock-proof fencing has meant we’re now able to bring cattle on to the reserve. In turn the cattle are providing us with a valuable ‘workforce’. Their grazing will keep in check the rough grasses and scrub which could otherwise overwhelm the site and dominate the orchids and other wildflowers that grow here.” 

Devon Wildlife Trust is encouraging local people to take a look at the improvements at Teigngrace Meadow over the Christmas break.

Andrew Taylor is one of 70 local volunteers who have worked on Devon Wildlife Trust’s Teigngrace Meadow during the past two years. Andrew  said:

“It’s a wonderful nature reserve to visit. It’s easily accessible via the popular Stover Way cycle route between Bovey Tracey and Newton Abbot. Then a short, steep climb on foot takes you to the top of the reserve. Here visitors will get wonderful views across a fascinating landscape where you can see the massive changes brought about by local clay extraction, plus the rugged outline of Dartmoor.”

The nature reserve is open to the public 365 days a year and is free to visit. Plan your visit to Teigngrace Meadow or any of Devon Wildlife Trust's 49 other wildlife havens.