April Newsletter: Spring is on its way at Wray Valley

Welcome to our April Newsletter!

Well, March turned out to be just as wet as February and already Dartmoor has had nearly its entire average annual rainfall in just the first three months of the year. Its all great for the mosses and lichens in the temperate rainforest but not so good for camping. Rather unexpectedly we even had 5 cm of snow on Wednesday evening. But over the Easter weekend we still had some hardy campers who decided to come and make the best of it and in return got two almost dry days and couple of clear nights.

The Hay Meadow camping field is now in use but we are still asking campers to park on the hardstanding by the B&B to avoid getting stuck in the field.

The B&B is now gearing up for the season and we’ve had our first family stay in the newly redecorated Bovey room and they were warm and cosy despite the weather. .

Now, let’s shift our focus to the exciting happenings and upcoming events in and around Wray Valley. This month’s newsletter delves into some of the developments here at Wray Valley:

Last month, we promised we’d share more details about our unique experiences and these have now gone live on our website for you to book.

As we move forward into the year, we’re grateful for your continued support and enthusiasm for all that Wray Valley has to offer. Together, let’s embrace the unpredictable weather, celebrate Dartmoor’s beauty, and create lasting memories through the many adventures that await us.

Happy exploring!

Michelle & Kevin

Navigating Fun at the Nearly Wild Camping Club Weekend (5-7 April) – Don’t Miss Out!

Only a few days to go now until the Nearly Wild Weekend here at Wray Valley Camping, which we are hosting in collaboration with the Nearly Wild Camping Club.  Over the weekend we will be running optional navigational training sessions and guided walks – all included in the weekend booking fee charged by the club.  The event is members only but it only costs £24 for your family/household to join and we give you a discount on the camping fees if you are a member.  So why not make a last minute decision to join us?


B&B Room Rebranding

The B&B bedrooms have had a makeover and renaming this winter. We’ve always wanted to name them after features on Dartmoor rather than the prosaic Twin, Double and Family which we’ve been calling them up to now! So we’ve decided to call them Teign, Dart and Bovey respectively after the local rivers. We’ve had lovely nameplates and matching key fobs hand made by Mumma T’s Pyrography in Bovey Tracey. All the rooms had to be repainted after the work we did over the winter installing underfloor heating and extra insulation. The changes in Teign and Bovey are the most dramatic. All the rooms and the bedroom corridor now feature local scenes on canvas prints, inlcuding images of the rivers they are named after.


Sustainability Activity Trail – Update

Riverside street sign with a pair of striped wellies and daffodils. First image in March Newsletter

Last month we introduced our planned Sustainability Activity Trail.  Work has been a bit slower getting started than anticipated due to the weather.  We had hoped to have improved the path down to the river before the season started but its not been possible to get the heavy machinary to it across the garden, we are still hopeful we’ll have a dry spell and get it done this month. 

Bramble Clearing

With the help of Tom from Devon Habitat Services, who is also part of our camping community, we have cleared the encroaching brambles from the edges of the Hay Meadow and opened a route to our new bit of woodland, we’ve also cleared a spot to have our campfire experiences. There is still some more clearance work to be done but that’s in the wet woodland which is too wet to get into at the moment.  

Tom from Devon Habitat Services clearing the brambles with a clearing saw

Sign Content

Elisabeth, our intern from the University of Exeter, has joined our payroll and she will be starting work on creating the content for the interpretation boards when she returns from the Easter vacation.

Other Work

Other planned work for next month includes installing four simple sleeper bridges over the ditches in the wood, as well as the path down to the river.

All this is possible thanks to a generous Farming in Protected Landscapes (FIPL) grant from Dartmoor National Park and funding from the via the University of Exeter’s Access to Internship scheme (A2i), in total the project will include:

  • An Extended UK Habitats Survey to deepen our understanding of the ecosystems present on site.
  • Beautiful interpretation signs to guide and inform your journey.
  • Activities for young and old
  • Improved paths, such as the route from the river to the garden, offering improved accessibility.
  • Careful management of the scrub areas, balancing the needs of diverse habitats.
  • Simple bridges that will span the ditches in the woods
  • Nest boxes of various sizes.


More Woods at Wray Valley

We’re delighted to announce that last month we acquired the 2-acre woodland next to our Hay Meadow campsite, creating a buffer between us and neighbouring farmland to the north. On the Moretonhampstead Tithe Map this wood is known as Lower Moor so that’s what we’ll call it too.

The previous owners had “preserved it for wildlife” but had decided they could no longer manage it and gave us first refusal. Its taken nearly 3 months for the solicitors to do their thing – not sure what takes them so long – but we got there. We are now surrounded on three sides by our own woods. Its a lot more wooded than this old land registry map suggests. We intend to open up a path through the wood now we’ve cleared the brambles that separate us from it! If you want to give us a hand making the wood accessible and on any other conservation activities do let us know.


Our Experiences Go Live on the Website

Collage of the experiences offered at Wray Valley

Last weekend we started to advertise our experiences on social medial and Visit Dartmoor, but you saw it here first in our last newsletter. Whether you’re looking to master navigation skills, become a campfire culinary expert, or both, our tailored workshops have got you covered.

Enhance your confidence in the great outdoors with our Navigation Courses

  • Basic Navigation: Perfect for beginners and those seeking a refresher.
  • Intermediate Navigation: Hone your skills and learn advanced techniques.
  • Night Navigation: Master navigating in limited visibility for unforgettable adventures.

Unleash your inner chef at our Outdoor Cookery Workshop

  • Campfire Cookery: Learn to prepare delicious meals over an open fire.
  • Woodfired Pizza: Craft authentic woodfired pizzas in a picturesque setting

Find out more here: https://www.wrayvalley.co.uk/wrav-valley-experiences/ Book your Wray Valley experience today and create memories that will last a lifetime! https://www.wrayvalley.co.uk/see-and-do/experiences/


Book your stay in May to see Dartmoor’s Bluebell Woods and Lawns

May at Wray Valley is a truly mesmerizing time, as our woods and riverside are adorned with a stunning display of bluebells, pink purslane and buttercups. Not only does it look fantastic, the aroma is powerful too. Nestled in a valley, our bluebells tend to bloom slightly later than those on west-facing slopes, reaching their peak beauty from mid-May to early June. They seem to be a bit earlier than normal this year. Keep an eye out for posts on Dartmoor Facebook groups for updates on the best places to witness this natural spectacle each week


Exciting News! Riverside B&B Wins Bronze in Southwest Regional Tourism Finals!

We are delighted to announce that as well as winning Bronze in the Devon Tourism Awards in November last year, Riverside B&B also scooped joint Bronze in the SW Regional Finals last month. Kevin is now designing a shelf to put the prizes on!


Dates for your diary

There’s something happening throughout the year so why not plan your stay around a local event.  Here’s a few of the regular fixtures to get you started…

Many, but not all, of the links below are on Facebook


Thanks for Reading

As we wrap up this edition of our newsletter, we hope that you’ve found it an enjoyable read and encourage you to share it with friends who might also appreciate the insights and updates from Wray Valley.

Your support means the world to us, and we’d be truly grateful if you could take a moment to like and follow us on social media (@WrayValley) and subscribe to our YouTube Channel. By doing so, you’ll stay connected with our latest news, events, and developments, as well as help others discover the beauty and excitement of Wray Valley.

We wish you a wonderful time ahead, filled with unforgettable adventures, memorable experiences, and precious moments with loved ones. We look forward to sharing more stories and updates with you in the coming months and hopefully seeing you here. Until next time!


Selfie of Kevin and Michelle at Scorriton Stone Circle on Dartmoor

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