Thursday, 21 December 2017

Challenge 11: ✔️ Achieved

Challenge 11: SITE A CHRISTMAS LETTERBOX SERIES

Here we go then!

whoisthechallenger's Christmas Tree Walk

Statts Bridge 670 804  Spruce Tree 148˚ and 35p away.  LHE Statts Bridge 282˚  RH vis pt Statts Bridge 287˚  Post on Water Hill skyline 007.5˚  Birch Tor RH outcrop 062.5˚  Box in top of tussock, on top of S bank of dry leat, 1p from gap through bank.  

West Cottages  671 805  Box 1p NE of twin-trunked holly tree.  HP of gorse on roadside at E end of West Cottages ruin 027˚  Centre of tree in Statts Bridge clue 226˚  Tall post on Water Hill 353˚  Birch Tor RH outcrop 062.5˚  Box plugged in centre of grassy tussock.    

Walla Brook  673 805  Box on S side of 10ft hawthorn tree, plugged in roots.  The tree is 14p below the dry leat, on edge of bracken.  RH chimney on Inn 013.5˚  Gate in wall on opposite side of brook 134.5˚  Bellever Tor gap 216˚  Warren House Inn signpost 341.5˚.  

Vitifer Tin Mine  674 807  Box immediately below (and about 4p from) spruce tree.  Box hidden behind rock, under heather, in bank.  Next nearest vis tree 022˚  Birch Tor RH outcrop 065.5˚  Wall goes over Challacombe Down 102.5˚  Soussons forest goes over hill (just vis) 152˚  

Warren House Inn 672 808  Box 3p NE from reedy hollow: filled (oddly) with fir tree branches.  Box plugged behind small stone, low down on N end of mossy mound.  LH chimney on Inn 070˚  Road goes over hill 042.5˚  Wall goes over Challacombe Down  106.5˚  Warren House Inn signpost 195˚  LHE of circular enclosure 225˚ and very approx 10p away.  

Water Hill  669 808  Box in hole behind trunk of rowan tree (?) on S bank of reedy, mossy gully.  Water filled hollow/gully junction 11p away.  Road goes over hill 225˚  Higher White Tor 245.5˚  From top of bank above box: LH vis pt Statts Bridge 207˚  Forest wall goes over hill 310.  

Caroline Farm  668 809  Box in roots of toppled holly tree in gully.  Obvious slab at top of gully 047˚ and 18p away.  From top of bank where tree once stood: Gateway at Caroline Farm 001.5˚  Tree in Water Hill clue 133˚  RHE Statts Bridge 195˚  Road goes over hill 217˚  Centre of nearby spruce 299˚  (Contains visitors book)

This walk will be on site until late February 2018.  Missing boxes will not be replaced.

I'll be back with the twelfth and final Challenge in January!  I'd like to wish all my blog readers a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Friday, December 15th 2017

A Letterbox walk!! At last!!

Eager as ever to get out Dartmoor Letterboxing, as well as visiting somewhere slightly different, I've been building up to this one since the Meet.
A charity walk - sited in aid of the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust - was out around Bellever Tor and Lakehead Hill.  A unique area given: i) the interaction between conifers and granite in the landscape, ii) a wealth of bronze age antiquities of which many are incredibly well preserved and, iii) a location in the middle of the Moor with 360-degree views of higher, surrounding peaks.

I began my walk, as the highly detailed charity walk instructions prescribed: at Postbridge.  I was not alone at the car park.  Within moments though, I was, as the only other car owner walked their dog through the Forestry Commission gate, and drove away.  So I was in no doubt that the forest paths would be peaceful, my Letterboxing undisturbed and deer sightings would be probable.

Conditions were favourable, though the going underfoot was a bit wet.  The air was dry and crisp.  The wind northerly and brisk.  I wandered up to Kraps Ring feeling very positive.

The route takes a path straight over Lakehead Hill - I consider this a rather neglected place on Dartmoor by Letterboxers.  Plantations and trees have almost claimed the whole hill, but what holds them at bay is the large quantity of kistvaens, settlements, stone rows and circles found here.  It is well explored, preserved and protected, which is good to see.
Beyond Lakehead Hill, I came across the ancient Lych Way, running from Bellever to Lydford.  One of Dartmoor's most legendary of long distance paths.  My route didn't follow it, but headed straight on to Bellever Tor's Western flanks.  I had no time to visit the summit as I last did back in 2010.  Instead I stuck rigidly to the charity walk's notes, and made for the wall which separated Bellever from Laughter Tor.  It was a cracking walk really, which led you into the forest on occasions.  Combined with the curious Wintry light - enhanced by an oncoming rain shower (as I encountered) meant that although the spruce plantation is relatively artificial, the walker could form a real connection with the forest.  A real connection with the terrain between the trees too.  Deep water filled ruts, brambles and ants too!

On my return towards the car, I spotted a pair of deer outside the forest.  I noticed them before they noticed me - which rarely happens.  They leapt off as I reached for my camera, having watched them for a few seconds.  I took a series of forestry tracks and found myself back at the car.  Chilled in more than one way.  Peace and solitude certainly found.  Plus 11 boxes.  Distance walked unknown.

You can do this charity walk too!  The charity walk clues are available by sending a cheque for £2.50 (payable to Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust) plus an S.A.E to Paul Rendell, The Coach House, Tramlines, Okehampton, Devon. EX20 1EH

Plus remember to check out Paul Rendell's website:  http://paulrendelldartmoor.co.uk/