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Devon Wildlife Warden Season 2 Episode 10: 2 years of the wildlife warden scheme 

Hello and welcome to the Devon Wildlife Warden podcast! November is drawing to a close, Christmas is around the corner and this is the final episode for 2022, so join me in celebrating what the first two years of the Wildlife Warden scheme has achieved – and to do that I have Audrey and Flavio, our founder and coordinator joining me in this episode. I’ll also be bringing you the bird of the month and plant of the month before drawing the season to a close.  

Intro music 

The Teignbridge Wildlife Warden Scheme is run by Action on Climate in Teignbridge – or ACT for short. The idea is to have wardens in every parish or ward who can help their wildlife in a wide variety of ways. I am the wildlife warden for Abbotskerswell, but we have many others and are always looking for more! We do all sorts of things, from promoting wildlife gardening and recording local wildlife sightings to working with clubs and schools and commenting on local planning applications, and much, much more! It’s all about each warden doing what they feel is necessary in their area and which lies within their comfort zone. ACT’s Wildlife Warden Scheme would not be possible without the generous assistance of our donors, details of which can be found in the episode notes. Many thanks to them all!   

So as mentioned in the introduction, I was fortunate enough to be able to find a time when both Audrey and Flavio were available to come and join me for a chat about what’s been achieved in the first two years of the wildlife warden scheme – we had a lovely morning wondering around my little woods, recording a chat and eating soup – what more could one ask for on a chilly autumn day? So without further ado – here’s what we recorded. 

Audrey and Flavio Chat 

Thanks again to both Audrey and Flavio for taking the time out of their busy schedules to chat with me and congrats once again on the awards – really great stuff!  

Moving on, let’s chat plant of the month and this month I’m focusing on Ivy – scientific name Hedera helix. This plant is easily recognised by most people out there due to it’s dark evergreen leaves which often have three distinctive lobes. There are actually two sub species native in the UK – the climbing variety which you’ll see winding its way up stone walls, fences and trees. But there is also the creeping type which forms ground cover. Some people see ivy as a nuisance, assuming that it will damage structures and strangle other plants but for the most part it actually doesn’t do any harm at all. In fact, its really useful for our wildlife. It’s estimated that Ivy supports around 50 different species and it’s a really valuable food plant in winter as it’s late flowers and berries support invertebrates and birds as they survive the long cold months. Sometimes it needs to be controlled to allow other species to flourish as well – such as in my little woods where it has taken over much of the banks and ground and we now run the risk of it restricting the growth of things like our spring flowers, so I’ll be selectively removing some of it this season – but fear not, it makes for a great base for making christmas wreaths as it can be wound around itself and essentially provides it’s own twine – so I am planning on using it to make some lovely decorations with our local forest school children. 

And as for bird of the month – well it has to be our characteristic Robin! Science name Erithacus rubecula – try saying that after a couple of proseccos!  It’s an iconic British bird and often features on Christmas cards, wrapping paper and other decorations – and with good reason. According to the RSPB, it’s the UK’s most popular bird and with its bright red breast is usually easy to identify, although juveniles are usually brown and lack the distinctive bib. They are bold and territorial birds which are often seen in social media videos eating from the hands of people – I have seen this locally at Stover Country Park where the birds have become very used to the presence of people and will frequently come and take food from patient hands. But what do they sound like? Well, if you didn’t know already, this is what a Robins call sounds like: 

Robin song 

So keep an eye out for this Christmassy bird in your garden or while you’re out and about – or perhaps challenge yourself to identify it from song alone! 

That just about wraps up the Devon Wildlife Warden Podcast for 2022. I wish you all a very peaceful, restful December and look forward to bringing you more news and updates in 2023.  

This podcast was narrated and produced by me, Emily Marbaix. Music by  

by Poddington Bear 

Episode Notes:  

ACT’s Wildlife Warden Scheme is run by the Action on Climate in Teignbridge (www.actionclimateteignbridge.org) Ecology Group. The idea is to have Wildlife Wardens in every Teignbridge Parish who can help their local nature in a wide variety of ways – through promoting wildlife gardening, recording local wildlife, improving local habitats, working with clubs and schools, keeping an eye on planning applications and development and more! ACT’s Wildlife Warden Scheme would not be possible without the generous assistance of: Devon Environment Foundation; Teign Energy Communities’ Community Fund; Cllr Jackie Hook’s DCC Locality Fund; Dartmoor National Park Authority; the Nineveh Trust; anonymous donors. Many thanks to all. 

Devon Wildlife Warden Podcast – Wildlife Warden News and Updates (wordpress.com) 

Links referenced in episode:  

wwwactionclimateteignbridge.org 

Devon Wildlife Community of the Year Awards 2021/22 – Devon Local Nature Partnership (devonlnp.org.uk) 

Robin Red Breast Bird Facts | Erithacus Rubecula – The RSPB 

Ivy (Hedera helix) – British Wildflowers – Woodland Trust 

This podcast was written, presented and produced by Emily Marbaix. Music by Poddington Bear 

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