Wednesday, 27 May 2009
The recipe below makes 10 litres. Smaller quantities can easily be made by halving or quartering the ingredients.
4lb (1.8kg) chopped onions
4lb (1.8kg) chopped apples
2lb (907grams) chopped dates
2lb (907grams) chopped apricots
2lb (907 grams) sultanas
3 pints malt vinegar
4lb (1.8kg) dark brown sugar
8tsps curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients well together and leave for 24 hours before use. Keep in a large sealed tub. Stir regularly. Happy eating!
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Monday, 25 May 2009
Thursday, 21 May 2009
The book is divided into 6 chapters.
Chapter 1 reviews the laws of physics, energy in ecology and the role of energy in former dominant civilisations. The key point in the latter example is that that former civilisations (e.g. Myas, Minoans, Greeks & Romans) collapsed because their energy budgets collapsed.
Chapter 2 looks at the rise of energy use from medieval times to the present - the rise of wood through coal to oil.
Chapter 3 describes the concept of peak oil – i.e. oil is a non –renewable resource . It details the work of Hubbert and describes why his work is so important.
Chapter 4 assesses whether renewable sources of energy can replace the oil based alternatives – they can't and the book describes why.
Chapter 5 entitled "A banquet of consequences" describes what the impacts on modern society of the peaking of oil. It is profoundly and deeply worrying.
Chapter 6 is a much more positive piece of writing giving hope of what can be done at the individual, community and national levels in preparing for the transition from oil to renewables and a different lifestyle.
The book is a really important contribution to the changes society needs to make in the light of diminishing oil resources. It is a useful additional information source to the bulk of climate change literature. It makes it plain that climate change policy cannot be seen in isolation from peak oil issues.
This book is in no large part responsible for the Transition Movement in the UK which started in Totnes, Devon earlier this century.
The book is a brilliant analysis of politics, geopolitics, geology, sociology, ecology and economics. Essential reading – I urge you to read it and get your elected politicians and senior managers to do the same.
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Whortleberries (or wild Bilberries as they are known in other parts of the country) grow wild on Dartmoor and Exmoor. They are said to taste very like a Blueberry. Come and have a try for yourselves and take advantage of the special price of the this promotion!! This offer runs until the 2nd of July.
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
After the Parish Church this is the most important building in Moretonhampstead. Its famous facade makes it of national importance. Likely date: c. 1450 with major 1637 additions. Its late medieval origins, with the survival of the smoke-blackened face-pegged jointed cruck roof, make this an outstanding building, with the granite loggia, fireplaces, screens, beams and windows of the 1637 conversion to eight almshouses, it is outstanding.
The property forms part of one of the largest continuous stretches of ancient semi-natural western oak woodland in the area. It is also very important for its lichens and bryophyte communities. It is designated a Special Area of Conservation under the European Habitat Directive. The Trust's ownership extends to the islands at Bell Pool.
Again, partly due to the steep, unstable slopes large trees are frequently blown over, necessitating closure of the area until the hazard is cleared. Management of the area is also restricted by the presence of many charcoal hearths dating from the time when the woods were actively coppiced to produce charcoal.
The general management aim is to control the beech and sycamore re-growth and favour the oak. There are some magnificent Sweet Chestnuts and Hornbeams and the Trust will carry out any necessary surgery required to prolong the life of these trees. There is a positive policy to remove the invasive laurel and rhododendron.
In the 17, 18 and 1900 this area was very important as a mining centre. The mines yielded tin, lead, zinc and silver. Full details can be found on the Legendary Dartmoor site.
Wheal Bestsy is also well known for its leaning tower. The site is in an exposed position so received strong gusts of wind and rain, over the years the National Trust have had to re point the tower and stabilise the walls to ensure it doesn't fall down.
Wheal Betsy is also important as it is the last standing Engine House on Dartmoor. In 1954 the Army was given permission to demolish it but luckily it was saved by the intervention of A.K. Hamilton Jenkin and other campaigners and given to the National Trust.
Monday, 18 May 2009
The exhibition will be open everyday from 10.30 am to 5.00pm.
Friday, 15 May 2009
Thursday, 14 May 2009
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Numbers of both species appear to be increasing, probably as a result of climate change and the Humming-bird Hawk-moth is beginning to survive our warmer winters. Many mysteries remain to be solved about insect migration – we do not know, for example, whether the British ‘born’ offspring of these insects migrate southwards to avoid the winter here. With your help, BC will track the arrival, spread and possible departure of these two beautiful and exciting species during 2009. The online survey is already up and running. If you see one of these amazing animals during 2009, please log your sighting using the simple online form at http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/
Details of the 2008 survey can be found here.
Visitors numbers are really strong at Finch Foundry this year. There have also been some special events where people have been able to enjoy the sunshine and the entertainment.
May Day was celebrated with the local school by maypole dancing - the local Morris dancers - a ladies team called Cogs and Wheels also joined in. Cogs and Wheels are based in Sticklepath and take their inspiration from Finch Foundry. Visit their web site to find out where you can see them this summer.
Monday, 11 May 2009
Friday, 8 May 2009
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
This combination of habitats is of considerable importance for nature conservation and it creates a landscape which forms a dramatic setting to the early 20th Century property of Castle Drogo.
The main features of nature conservation interest are as follows:
- Whiddon Deer Park SSSI - Wood-pasture and parkland. Nationally important concentration of open-grown veteran trees in semi-natural pasture.
- Piddledown & Drewston Commons – Upland heathland. Rare invertebrates of hot dry rocky situations. Important butterfly site, with a colony of Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Rare plants including Nationally rare Toadflax-leaved St John’s Wort and Nationally scarce Pale Dog Violet;
- Whiddon & Hannicombe Woods - Upland Oakwoods on north-facing slopes
- Several Bat species - including the rare Barbastelle associated with veteran trees in Whiddon Deer
- Protected mammal species - such as Dormouse in woodlands and Otter in River Teign.
- Rich bird assemblage in the diverse range of habitats - including Nightjar
- Butterfly populations associated with heathland and dry grassland - including Pearl-bordered Fritillary.
One of the most famous areas is Fingle Bridge - a real attraction for visitors to Dartmoor. There is much myth and legend associated with the area - see here.
You can download a walks leaflet here which shows you an excellent 5 mile walk along the River Teign in the Gorge.After your walk you can get food and refreshments at the new Castle Drogo tearooms or at the Fingle Bridge Inn.
Friday, 1 May 2009
Don’t worry. This is actually a mixture of Italian rye grass, phacelia and red clover that has been specifically planted to act as a 'green' manure, a weed suppressant and a nectar source for bees and other insects. This will be ploughed-in later in the year to help fertilise the soil and improve its structure, therefore eliminating the need for chemical fertilisers.