"Flood warnings as downpours hit UK". "A month's rainfall due in one day". "The wettest day of 2012". We had been warned...
WITC headed up the East Dart on a mission, yet only in search of a handful of boxes. The forecast of blustery showers, and an optimistic nature meant that we were confident everything would be fine. We weren't alone judging by a bustling Postbridge car park. We set off up the true left bank, passing
Hartland Tor, the sheepfold, the turn and the beehive hut. We gained height quickly on the slopes of Lade Hill. This ascent brought back memories of the O.A.T.S. walks we completed over a decade ago. Some 15 miles into that marathon trail, it never failed to slow participants to a crawl.
On the summit, we turned East, and returned to the riverside at Sandy Hole Pass, before rounding Broad Marsh and crossing the slightly swollen East Dart river at Kit Steps.
We climbed up to Flat Tor to survey the damage from recent works to Flat Tor Pan. The Dartmoor Mires project has fenced off areas here in the name of conservation and research. Their work is controversial because they have removed pieces of metal from a 1960's plane crash site. Some argue that this metalwork is just another piece of Dartmoor's rich mix of archaeology, and should remain in situ, whilst those responsible for the work say it is necessary to remove it.
After splashing past the gates, fences, and land rover tracks, we passed over Broad Down and Braddon Tor and descended to Drift Lane and the familiar walk back to Postbridge.
Yes, the weather was kinder than had been predicted. The hail showers and rain halted us in our paths at times, but the visibility was good, and it blew some cobwebs away. Which was nice. Hopefully the work at Flat Tor Pan will be completed quickly, and restoration will be thorough and swift. I suspect more conflict is likely though.