About Holy Brook Meadows

Holy Brook Meadows is situated just north of Buckfast on the southern edge of Dartmoor National Park. The land comprises two fields divided by the Holy Brook. It is bordered by ancient woodland and a short walk away from the river Dart.

Until we took over ownership, the land was used mostly for grazing cattle and horses. Now the land is normally grazed in late autumn or early winter by sheep. We then grow an early hay crop which is taken in mid June after which the meadows rest until they are made ready for the summer camps.

Our work with the land

Since taking on stewardship of the land we have:

  • dug a 300m swale which has become home to a surprising diversity of plants and aquatic life.
  • planted two major stands of 900 trees. The first, bordering the stream at the field entrance, is a mix of hazel, chestnut, rowan, downy birch and willow which will be managed as coppice for both crafts and firewood. The second, on a hillside along the northern edge, is a mix of oak, rowan, chestnut, hazel, hawthorn, elder, crab, silver birch, willow and rose.
  • laid much of the hedgerow which sits on top of an ancient Devon bank. It is home to dormice, glow worms and many birds.
  • cleared all obstruction from the stream which is home to trout and possibly migrating salmon. We have spotted kingfisher, heron, duck and dippers.
  • carried out a botanical survey which has revealed over 100 flowering plants.
  • begun the process of creating wild flower meadows in some areas.
  • identified the land as feeding territory of the greater horseshoe bat.

Most of the work is carried out by volunteers. These workdays provide an opportunity for people to have a hands on practical relationship with land. They also serve to build community around a meaningful project. See our calendar page for dates of upcoming work days.

To see our survey of flowering plants click on the button opposite.

To see our management plan click on the button opposite.