Woodbury Common, the Gibraltar Stone and some ponies

Went for a walk yesterday up to Woodbury Common and went to see the newly installed Gibraltar Stone.

Stone1This is a large piece of rock brought from Gibraltar to mark the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines who train on the Common nearby

Stone2This plate explains all

Stone3Also saw a lot of Dartmoor ponies and cattle who are being used to graze this internationally important area of heath

Stone4Very confiding

Stone5 Also found this – it is Soloman’s Seal – it is almost certainly the garden hybrid Polygonatum x hybridum opposed to the native Polygonatum multiflorum which doesn’t really get into Devon

Woodbury Common’s Dartmoor ponies

I live near to Woodbury Common which is part of the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths – they are largely owned by the Clinton Devon Estate but are managed by a charity they have set up called The Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust. The area involved is huge  – approaching 3500 acres – most is designated as a Special Area of Conservation.

The Conservation Trust have recently fenced Woodbury Common so that a conservation grazing project can begin. A week or so ago a herd of Dartmoor ponies arrived to start the job and they will soon be joined by some cattle.

Woodbury 1A Dartmoor pony carrying out its conservation duties

Woodbury 6A couple more

Woodbury 2Sign informing visitors of the work

Woodbury 3Great colours on the commons – later in the year the purple of the heather will add to the picture

Woodbury 4Close up of European Gorse

Woodbury 5The nests of red spider mites (the red dots are the mites!) are common on some of the gorse