Update 5 September 2021:
Abbie Woodbridge, our local wildlife filmmaker, has now completed her film on the Hoyle Copse bat roost and wildlife haven project titled; “Hoyle Haven – A Rewilding Tale”. The film went public today and has also been submitted in the Riviera Film Festival. Best of luck luck Abbie!.
You can view this wonderful film, with great views of Hoyle Copse and the village plus featuring the usual suspects (aka the Hoyle Copse Volunteers) and Anna David of Devon Wildlife Trust by:
Clicking this link; https://youtu.be/oxr16y2VSo0
Searching for “Hoyle Haven” on Youtube
Visiting Abbie’s website at www.lupine-media.co.uk where you can also view Abbie’s other amazing wildlife videos.
Hoyle Copse was bequeathed to Stoke Gabriel Parish Council in 1999 for the
‘quiet enjoyment of the villagers’ by a long time resident, Miss Sheila Francis
Birch. The site embraced a total area of 7.17 acres consisted of unmanaged
woodland including remnants of coppiced woodland, a limestone quarry and
limekiln and about 1.5 acres of neglected grassland. There was only one
unwelcoming entrance over private ground and site access was extremely
difficult due to many years’ growth of brambles, scrub and thorn.
After consultation with Devon Wildlife Trust, South Hams District Council and
the Archaeological Officer of Devon County Council a management plan was
drawn up to improve:
Access and general appearance
Heritage of the limestone workings
Biodiversity and wildlife
In 2019 an updated plan was agreed and published for the management and
further improvement of the copse.
Since acquiring the copse, volunteers have worked hard making the copse an
asset to villagers and wildlife alike. Clearing the glades of old wood and scrub
has encouraged a new and abundant growth of wild flowers, trees have been
planted to help the woodland regenerate, the heritage hazel area is now
coppiced on a ten year rotation, the meadow has been seeded with
wildlflowers and paths have been cleared around the copse. In addition, three
new access points into the copse have been added. These additional access
points and the cleared paths make this an area much used by grateful village
residents, adults and children alike.
The volunteers continue to care for the footpaths, flora and fauna of the copse
on an annual maintenance cycle. In addition, future projects include;
Converting the old shed in the wildflower meadow into a bat roost and
The removal of spoil from the quarry to extend the unique habitat of the
Adding long sweeping clearings along the footpaths to provide flight
paths for birds and bats that feed on the wing
Provide an accessibility access and trail
If you would like to join the volunteer team please see the notices at the
entrances to the copse for details