Friends of Axmouth Church Christmas Tree Festival

Axmouth church with moonHo ho ho! What do you mean ‘humbug’? Do you know what you need? A Christmas Tree Festival!
Friends of Axmouth Church are hosting a Christmas Tree Festival — you guessed it — at Axmouth Church this week (15th December 2012 to 22nd December 2012). It’s in aid of the Tower Restoration Fund, a worthy cause that aims to keep Axmouth Church in shape for years to come. You can find their site here for more details!
The church is open 3pm until 6pm (except Sat 15th) and the exciting timetable looks like this:
  • Sat 15th 7pm: So this is Christmas performed by ACT 2. Admission £5.00
  • Sun 16th 10am: Traditional service of lessons and carols
  • Mon 17th 12.30pm: Colyton Grammar School Chamber Choir
  • Tue 18th 1.30pm: Tots Tree Festival Toddle
  • Wed 19th 12.30pm: Axe Valley Community College Steel Band
  • Thurs 20th: Church open 3-6pm
  • Fri 21st 6.30pm: Community Singalong
  • Sat 22nd: Church open 3-6pm

If you’re in the Axe Valley or East Devon in general then get down there and show your support! Axmouth Church is a beautiful church, thought to be located on a site of worship for 1000 years or more, it would be fantastic to help out with restorations down there and get into the Christmas spirit too.

Bioblitz in Devon: our bioblitz results

What is a bioblitz?

It’s a concerted effort (sometimes to happen over 24 hours or less) to complete a field study for an area of natural interest. Bio, i.e. to do with life, blitz, as in lightning fast. Bioblitz. Clever eh?

How can I get involved in a bioblitz?

Get in touch with your local conservation group and ask if you can be a volunteer and help out.

The Lower Bruckland bioblitz

The Axe Vale & District Conservation Society came to Lower Brucklands on September 1st 2012 to carry out a Bioblitz.Thanks to the AV&DCS for popping down to the lakes and sharing their findings.

Flowers found, including family, scientific/Latin name and English name

Family Name English Name
Aceraceae Acer campestre Field Maple
Alismataceae Alisma plantago-aquatica Water Plantain
Apiaceae Angelica sylvestris Wild Angelica
Apiaceae Anthriscus sylvestris Hedge Parsley
Apiaceae Apium nodiflorum Fool’s Watercress
Apiaceae Conium maculatum Hemlock
Apiaceae Daucus carota Wild Carrot
Apiaceae Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed
Apiaceae Oenanthe crocata Hemlock Water-dropwort
Apiaceae Torilis japonica Upright Hedge Parsley
Aquifoliaceae Ilex aquifolium Holly
Araliaceae Hedera helix Ivy
Asteraceae Achillea millefolium Yarrow
Asteraceae Achillea ptarmica Sneezewort
Asteraceae Centaurea nigra Lesser Knapweed
Asteraceae Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle
Asteraceae Cirsium vulgare Spear Thistle
Asteraceae Erigeron acris Blue Fleabane
Asteraceae Eupatorium cannabinum Hemp Agrimony
Asteraceae Leotodon taraxacoides Autumnal Hawkbit
Asteraceae Leucanthemum vulgare Ox-eye Daisy
Asteraceae Matricaria matricarioides Pineapple Weed
Asteraceae Picris echioides Bristly Ox-tongue
Asteraceae Pulicaria dysenterica Fleabane
Asteraceae Senecio jacobaea Ragwort
Asteraceae Senecio vulgaris Groundsel
Asteraceae Sonchus asper Prickly Sow-thistle
Asteraceae Sonchus oleraceus Common Sowthistle
Asteraceae Taraxacum officinale Dandelion
Balsaminaceae Impatiens glandulifera Himalayan Balsam
Betulaceae Alnus incana Grey Alder
Betulaceae Corylus avellana Hazel
Brassicaceae Alliaria petiolata Garlic Mustard
Buddleiaceae Buddleia davidii Butterfly Bush, Buddleja
Caprifoliaceae Sambucus nigra Elder
Caprifoliaceae Viburnum opulus Guelder Rose
Caryophyllaceae Cerastium fontanus Mouse-ear Chickweed
Caryophyllaceae Lychnis flos-cuculi Ragged Robin
Caryophyllaceae Silene dioica Red Campion
Ceratophyllaceae Ceratophyllum demersum Rigid Hornwort
Chenopodiaceae Chenopodium album Fat Hen
Clusiaceae Hypericum perforatum Perforate St John’s Wort
Clusiaceae Hypericum tetrapterum Square-stemmed St John’s Wort
Convolvulaceae Calystegia sepium Bindweed
Cyperaceae Carex nigra Common Sedge
Cyperaceae Carex pendula Drooping Sedge
Cyperaceae Eleocharis palustris Common Spike-rush
Dipsacaceae Dipsacus fullonum Teazel
Fagaceae Quercus robur Oak
Gentianaceae Centaurium erythraea Common Centaury
Haloragaceae Myriophyllum spicatum Spiked Water-milfoil
Hydrocharitaceae Elodea canadensis Canadian Pondweed
Iridaceae Crocosmia xcrocosmiiflora Montbretia
Iridaceae Iris pseudacorus Yellow Iris
Juncaceae Juncus bufonius Toad Rush
Juncaceae Juncus conglomeratus Compact Rush
Juncaceae Juncus effusus Soft Rush
Juncaceae Juncus inflexus Hard Rush
Lamiaceae Galeopsis tetrahit Hemp-nettle
Lamiaceae Glechoma hederacea Ground Ivy
Lamiaceae Mentha aquatica Water Mint
Lamiaceae Origanum vulgare Wild Marjoram
Lamiaceae Prunella vulgaris Self-heal
Lamiaceae Stachys palustris Marsh Woundwort
Lamiaceae Stachys sylvatica Hedge Woundwort
Leguminosae Lathyrus pratensis Meadow Pea
Leguminosae Lotus pedunculatus Marsh Bird’s-foot Trefoil
Leguminosae Lous corniculatus Bird’s-foot Trefoil
Leguminosae Trifolium dubium White Clover
Leguminosae Trifolium rubrum Red Clover
Leguminosae Ulex europaeus Gorse
Leguminosae Vicia sativa Common Vetch
Leguminosae Vicia sepium Bush Vetch
Lemnaceae Lemna minor Lesser Duckweed
Lemnaceae Lemna trisulca Ivy-leaved Duckweed
Lythraceae Lythrum salicaria Purple Loosestrife
Nymphaeaceae Nymphaea alba White Water-lily
Oleaceae Fraxinus excelsior Ash
Onagraceae Chamaerion angustifolium Rose-bay Willowherb
Onagraceae Epilobium hirsutum Great Willow Herb
Onagraceae Lysimachia punctata Dotted Loosestrife
Plantaginaceae Plantago lanceolata Ribwort Plantain
Plantaginaceae Plantago major Greater Plantain
Poaceae Agrostis stolonifera Creeping Bent-grass
Poaceae Alopecurus geniculatus Marsh Foxtail Grass
Poaceae Anthoxanthum praecox Sweet Vernal-grass
Poaceae Arrhenatherum elatius False Oat-grass
Poaceae Cynosurus cristatus Crested Dogs-tail
Poaceae Dactylis glomerata Cock’s-foot Grass
Poaceae Deschampsia cespitosa Tufted Hair-grass
Poaceae Elytrigia repens Common Couch-grass
Poaceae Glyceria maxima Reed Sweet-grass
Poaceae Holcus lanatus Yorkshire Fog
Poaceae Lolium perenne Perennial Rye-grass
Poaceae Phragmites communis Common Reed
Polygonaceae Persicaria maculosa Redshank
Polygonaceae Rumex conglomeratus Clustered Dock
Polygonaceae Rumex crispus Curled Dock
Polygonaceae Rumex obtusifolius Broad-leaved Dock
Pontederiaceae Pontederia cordata Pickerelweed
Potamogetonaceae Potamogeton berchtoldii Small Pondweed
Potamogetonaceae Potamogeton natans Floating Pondweed
Ranunculaceae Ranunculus acris Meadow Buttercup
Ranunculaceae Ranunculus repens Creeping Buttercup
Rhamnaceae Cornus sanguinea Dogwood
Rosaceae Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn
Rosaceae Filipendula ulmaria Meadowsweet
Rosaceae Prunus spinosa Blackthorn
Rosaceae Rosa canina Dog Rosa
Rosaceae Rubus fruticosus Bramble
Rosaceae Sorbus aucuparia Rowan
Rubiaceae Galium aparine Cleavers, Goosegrass
Rubiaceae Galium mollugo Hedge Bedstraw
Salicaceae Populus alba White Poplar, Abele
Salicaceae Salix aurita Eared Sallow
Salicaceae Salix capraea Goat Willow
Salicaceae Salix viminalis Osier
Scrophulariaceae Scrophularia aquatica Water Figwort
Scrophulariaceae Veronica serpyllifolia Thyme-leaved Speedwell
Sparganiaceae Sparganium erectum Branched Bur-reed
Typhaceae Typha latifolia Reedmace, Bulrush
Ulmaceae Ulmus sp. Elm
Urticaceae Urtica dioica Nettle

Animals found during bioblitz


Mallard (brood with 6 young)



Little Grebe


Mute Swan



Long-tailed Tit


Speckled Wood

Large White


Meadow Brown

Other Insects

Sympetrum striolatum                                   Common Darter (Dragonfly)

Enallagma cyathigerum                                Common Blue Damselfly

Eristalis tenax                                                  Drone Fly

Episyrphus baltatus                                        Marmalade Hover-fly

Syvitta pipiens                                                 (Hover-fly)

Helophilus pendulus                                       (Hover-fly)

Melanostoma scalare                                    (Hover-fly)

Volucella bombylans                                      (Hover-fly)

Tipula paludosa                                               (Crane-fly)

Bombus pratorum                                          (Bumble-bee)

Old nature news

Since our old site won’t be around forever, I thought it would be a good idea to have a backup of all the old news here. With that in mind, here it is! Hopefully all the links should still work for a while at least… 🙂

31/7/08 – More photos from Hazel!

Hazel has sent us 3 new photos taken recently (thanks again!).

10/7/08 – Small tortoiseshell and scarce chasers from Hazel

We have received some photographs from Hazel Land who visited Lower Bruckland on June the 23rd. She managed to capture (on camera) a small tortoiseshell butterfly and a great shot of 3 scarce chasers in close proximity. You can see the images here and here respectively. Many thanks to Hazel for sending them in!

28/5/08 – Bird photographs from Steve

In an unprecedented flurry of excitement, here is a second gallery update in a week. Thanks very much to Steve for sending them in!

22/5/08 – New photos

Warning — I am no photographer! However the weather was good so I thought I would take some mediocre snaps just to show how nice the lakes look on a sunny Sunday morning! Have a look in theMay 2008 folder.

29/2/08 – First update of 2008

The website may not have been busy for a few months but things have not slowed down at Lower Bruckland. As of tomorrow, 1st March 2008, the fishing lakes will be open again for the season, and the self-catering holiday cottages that were mentioned in September are nearing completion, and will look fabulous when done. In the next 24 hours there will be photos of the development available in the gallery, as well as some more up to date shots of the nature area and fishery. [Edit: photos now uploaded]

9/10/07 – Yellow-browed warbler!

There was a bit of commotion from the local ornithologists this afternoon when a yellow-browed warbler (which I gather from this thread at was spotted in the area in the last week) appeared at Lower Bruckland. You can read Steve’s post on the subject. The forums there are a great place to keep up to date on the birdlife (and more) around the Seaton/Colyton area. If anyone else spots any interesting visitors, please let us know!

3/10/07 – Butterfly photos from Chris Root, Water Vole Recovery Project

Chris has emailed us some more photographs taken around the Lower Bruckland site. Last time they were mainly dragonflies — this time they are mainly butterflies, and they look great! Chris is a professional photographer and his email address is on his numerous pictures in the butterfly/dragonfly sections of the gallery if you want to contact him regarding his work.

Also, recently the River Axe Water Vole Recovery Project completed their Year 1 report. Lower Bruckland was one of several sites involved in the project, which you can read about here and here.

19/9/07 – Self-catering accommodation for 2008

Work has recently begun in modernising and converting some older barns on the current farmhouse site to create 2 separate self-catering cottages, with 2 bedrooms, 1 ensuite in each. They will be ready some time in 2008, and will give anglers/nature lovers from further afield the chance to stay a little longer to indulge their hobbies.

18/9/07 – New image gallery

The image gallery section of the site has been extended to accommodate all the great photos taken around Lower Bruckland that are being sent in. Special thanks to David Land and Chris Root for some brilliant contributions! We are just in the process of sorting and annotating the photos but they are there for all to see already.

17/9/07 – Osprey, bird hide, new project

Over the past couple of weeks there have been a few things to report: firstly an osprey was again spotted around the lakes (perhaps the same one from July, enjoying the view!). Also, a new birdwatching hide has been completed on the island in the middle of the lower lake. And finally, plans for an information centre/gallery regarding the species around the site are being discussed… watch this space!

25/7/07 – Butterfly Conservation site report (2006) online

Thanks to the Devon Branch of Butterfly Conservation for letting us have a copy of their report for Lower Bruckland for last year! You can download it here!

25/7/07 – Checklist, wildlife photos, osprey and hobby spotted!

You can now download the sheet of photos of species likely to be seen at Lower Bruckland.

Thanks to David who has sent us some great closeups of butterflies and a moth he came across (seegallery).

Thanks also to Nigel who sent us the following message:

I spent an enjoyable morning around Musbury and Lower Bruckland today – an osprey flew past Musbury Castle with a fish in its talons, a hobby was hunting at Lower Bruckland and there were the following dragonfly species – small red eyed damselflies, ruddy darter, red-veined darter, common darters, common blue damselflies, blue-tailed damselflies, black-tailed skimmers and emperors.


9/7/07 – New photos

There are a couple of new photos in the gallery, taken over the past month or so—some nice sunsets.

29/6/07 – Show off your skills!

If you, your children or anyone you know have done any photography or art involving or inspired by the lakes, we’d like to feature them on the site! Please see the contact page and get in touch with us!