Old apple crush

About 500 metres SW of Shilstone Tor is an abandoned apple crush. To be more precise, it is an unfinished quarter of an apple crush. It could have been made up to 500 years ago, it’s believed that some of these objects were made by stone workers on their day off!

It is at Lat 50.710293, Lon -3.8577749

There’s one relatively dry way to reach it and others that are very wet underfoot. My preferred route is to take the track uphill from Shilstone Tor, then bear left onto the green track that contours towards Buttern Tor. About 100 metres along the green track is a big hawthorn tree on your left, the first tree you come to. The stone is about 100 metres from the tree, just above the really wet boggy flat area. It is at the edge of an area of worked and broken stone.DSCN2062



Shovel Down

Monday morning, and the day promised to be bright, calm and cold.

This morning’s walk took us to Shovel Down, about half an hour’s walk from Scorhill car park.

One photo shows Rani on the clapper bridge at SX653872.

The other shows one of the hut circles at the extensive Bronze age settlement at SX652859.


Sunday work

‘Donkey corner’ is an area near Aysh common. There are two ¬†clapper bridges close together which cross two streams. The first, approaching from the common, is a beautiful old structure. The stream had carried down a tree stump which had become lodged under the bridge. A bit of heaving and shoving dislodged it. The second smaller bridge crosses a stream that was not flowing at all well, but was soon cleared with the aid of a long handled ‘Devon shovel’.

The path from Providence down to Gidleigh Mill has a drainage cut off at the bottom. Ian Brooker, the Ranger had cleared this in November after most of the leaves had fallen. The recent heavy rain had taken down more debris and the cut off needed clearing again. Two ivy covered trees have  come down in the lane, nearly but not quite blocking access. Ian will come with his chainsaw to clear them on the 23rd or 24th.

A female sparrow hawk came down the lane about a foot above the path hoping to surprise foraging birds. It succeeded in surprising me!


Deave Lane

Deave Lane is a very old cart track between Throwleigh village and Wonson on the edge of Dartmoor.

Over time, the carefully laid granite stones which form the base have been covered by natural debris. When there has been wet weather over a sustained period, the lane can become very muddy in places despite the drainage work that has done in the past to create ‘cut-offs’.

The ancient granite walls which still exist for most of the kilometre length of the lane can become overgrown with hazel, holly and ivy.

On Friday January 15th 2016, a group of volunteers from the Sticklepath and Okehampton conservation group, together with helpers from the village came together to improve the condition of the lane under the direction of Ian Brooker, the Ranger for this part of the National Park.