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.

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