River Festival Plans and Discovering Dormice on the Bere Peninsula

Bryony James, our new Community and Volunteering Officer has been busy getting out and about in the last few months! Here she tells us what she’s been working on since she started in the Spring including discovering Dormice on the Bere Peninsula and plans for a Tamar Valley River Festival.

Dormouse project

I have been working with Jane Hart, the Tamar Valley AONB Project Officer on the Discovering Dormice project on the Bere Peninsula. This has involved running community outreach sessions with the help of dormouse expert, Jenny Bousfield. Jane and I have taught school sessions, worked with scout and beaver groups and have been busily getting all the surveying tunnels out around various sites across the Bere Peninsula. The most recent school trip was held at Buckland Abbey with Buckland Monachorum Year 5’s with the help of National Trust ranger, Steve.

Celebrating Tamara – River Festival

We have now got our funding application bid in to Arts Council England, who will be letting us know the outcome by the end of September (fingers crossed!). The bid is towards the running of the community-based River arts festival, which will be called TAMART24. I’ve also been out to different events recently for the Celebrating Tamara project including to Open Farm Sunday and Calstock Heritage Weekend. Visitors to the former got to go on tractor and trailer rides around the farm, visiting the animals and learning more about how they farm alongside wildlife. We also ran a nature trail activity for visitors, and participants received a bottle of Tamar Grow Local apple juice as a prize.

Natural Connections

I’ve been attending lots of meetings recently to set up sessions and host activities for community groups such as the Tavistock Wellbeing Alliance meetings and Naturally Healthy Forum in Plymouth. I’m striking up conversations with charities such as Improving Lives Plymouth and with Volunteer Cornwall to engage their communities within the Tamar Valley. Watch this space for upcoming sessions!




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