Where do you think you might find Yorkshire fog, inflated beard and common cat’s-ears?

It turns out they are all in the Helen Rowett Memorial Garden in Dousland which is being surveyed to make the most of its habitats to encourage biodiversity and involve villagers in its management and community use.

Last weekend some of the garden volunteers categorised the different habitats found in the garden, such as stone walls, hedgerows and mown grass. They then noted all the plants found there.

Using a combination of books, an app and existing knowledge, the keen amateur naturalists identified and recorded 54 species of plants, including 14 species of trees. There are also many lichens, mosses and ferns which require more specialist knowledge.

Yorkshire fog is a type of grass, inflated beard a type of lichen, and common cat’s-ear is a dandelion like edible herb. Carolyn Tiley leads the group which she set up to ensure the best is made of the area, which is named after a late villager (a lecturer and author on plant and animal science) who donated the land to the community through Burrator Parish Council to save it from development.

Carolyn said: “The weather was overcast and a little cool for June, which might explain why we saw only one bee, one wasp and one hoverfly. Many of the plants in open areas, such as clover and bird’s foot trefoil, are regularly mown before they get the opportunity to flower in numbers, which also reduces the number of pollinators present. We saw no butterflies or caterpillars, but did record a few semaphore flies.

“The survey was done to give a baseline against which to measure improvements made for wildlife, including allowing some of the grass to grow longer, creation of a ‘dead hedge’ habitat and the introduction of a wildflower meadow.  Over time, these and other initiatives should increase species diversity both in plants and insects.”

A bug survey will take place with Devon Wildlife Trust equipment on Sunday, July 21 at 11am. A management plan will be drawn up for the council. Anyone wanting to take part can email [email protected]