Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Littaford and Longaford

My latest walk was on the popular and fascinating ridge above the West Dart River.  Parking at Two Bridges, close to the hotel of the same name.  First stop was Wistmans Wood.  The famous nature reserve wearing the Spring cloak of lush green leaves. Demonstrating Summer weather is almost here, but also that the forest is healthy.  Natural England, who own Devon's oldest woodland, say Wistmans Wood has doubled in size in the past 100 years.  It still, thankfully, retains the ethereal feel familiar with Dartmoor's high altitude oak woodland.

Next, I headed North to the take-off point for Devonport Leat and the boundaries of Longaford Newtake.  I passed the lesser-known Little Whiten Tor, and climbed up to Lower White Tor.  On July 4th, 1939, Fairey Battle K9391, a single engined RAF bomber on exercise crashed up here (Info credit due to Clyde North Aeronautical Preservation Group.) Some of the wreckage remains embedded on the slopes.

I returned to the car down the ridge, passing Higher White Tor and Longaford Tor.  Cuckoos were audible on both sides of the ridge - from Wistmans Wood and the trees surrounding Powdermills.  It is unknown if they were ones tagged in the British Trust for Ornithology/DNPA project to learn more about these elusive and increasingly rare birds.

I had a few letterboxes to find around Littaford Tor and Little Bee Tor.  It then was the long descent back to the car for well earned refreshment.  11 boxes found.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Heavy plant crossing

The below sign was spotted last weekend attached to the gate between Beardown and Lydford Tors.  It seems that August - the firing free month - and the season of all things North Moor, will not mean freedom to Summer Hill, North of Cowsic Head.  The sign is not clear of exactly what they will be doing to the "high plateau", but the mires project is all about re-wetting the moor, and the creation of pools and peat barriers.  

The Dartmoor Mires Project would be grateful if you would avoid approaching the area around 596 808 when work is taking place.  So get out there now while you have a chance!