Following a Spring ‘break’, the DPA volunteers have started into action again. There have been days of bracken cutting on Sharpitor, Leeden Hill, Drake’s Plymouth Leat, Grimspound and Venford Reservoir. I was present for some but not all of these. On Saturday 20th July, we returned to Roborough Common. First, we cleared bracken from the earthworks just west of the A386, and then we moved to the west end of Drake’s Plymouth Leat. The work here proved to be much harder than we had anticipated, plus it was in the heat wave!

The sensible thing to do during a heatwave.

The sensible thing to do during a heatwave.

A lot of the hard work was done by brush-cutter, here is one at work down in the leat …..

Cutting bracken in the Plymouth Leat

Cutting bracken in the Plymouth Leat

Besides clearing the inside of the leat, there are long distances of leat banks where bracken likes to take over if given a chance …..

Cutting bracken on the banks of Plymouth Leat

Cutting bracken on the banks of Plymouth Leat

The photographs above show areas after the work was more or less finished. The real tell-tale photographs are below, showing “before” and “after” …..

A stretch of leat before the DPA volunteers "did their thing"

A stretch of leat before the DPA volunteers “did their thing”

In the photograph above, you might ask “Where is this leat” …..

How the leat looks after the bracken is cut and removed.

How the leat looks after the bracken is cut and removed.

The photos are of the same place, note the tree: a huge difference. We have to thank the volunteers: Derek, Val, Sylvia, Ellie, Mally, Bob, John, Chris, Adam and Keith for their labours in conditions that were almost above and beyond the call of duty.  Also, dare I mention this – there was cake, fruit cake, thanks to Val. We mustn’t spoil a leat tradition by omitting that!  My thanks also to Adam for providing the photographs – if you click your mouse on them once (or twice) then you will see larger versions of the images.

On other projects, namely bracken cutting on Sharpitor, Leeden, High House Waste and Hawns, we have to thank the volunteers from Western Mortgage Services.