Sometimes I sit in front of this blog screen and wonder what in the Charles Dickens am I going to write?!   While titivating the photos from today, I had just that feeling.  It was a dull day, no sun, no bright colours, photos that struck me as being bland, flat and pretty uninspiring to look at – except for the green upon green.  However, that can’t be said about the team of DPA conservation volunteers – they were amazing in the ground that they covered.

Looking from Dead Man's Bridge back towards Plymouth.

Looking from Dead Man’s Bridge back towards Plymouth.

 

The first photograph shows a little of Drake’s Leat, more correctly called Plymouth Leat because it supplied water to Plymouth – and that is apparently the convention when naming leats.  next, a little “before and after”, note the large tree …..

Drake's Leat section - before.

Drake’s Leat section – before.

 

Drake's Leat section - after

Drake’s Leat section – after

It is always hard to remember exactly where you stood to take a photograph a few hours ago, in order to take it again!  This is the first section that we cleared today.

Now, much the same again but looking back towards the bridge …..

Looking towards the bridge, towards Yelverton - before

Looking towards the bridge, towards Yelverton – before

 

Looking towards the bridge, towards Yelverton - after.

Looking towards the bridge, towards Yelverton – after.

After the shades of green, some human interest …..

Coffee time after clearing the first section.

Coffee time after clearing the first section.

The photograph above shows a little of the bridge and the small car park beside it with the rear end of the DPA Isuzu vehicle at the extreme left.  Dare I say that Derek appears to be holding it down – the tailgate forms a useful shelf for tools maintenance and an occasional seat!  It really has been a boon to the conservation quest.

Working near the bridge.

Working near the bridge.

 

Three machinists hard at work.

Three machinists hard at work.

 

Clearing away the cut bracken by hand.

Clearing away the cut bracken by hand.

The volunteers today were: Chris Francis, Derek Collins, John Lucas, John Watson, Keith Ryan, Mally Stephen, Rachel Watson, Stephen Barrow, Sylvia Hamilton and Val Barns – 10 in total.  Exquisite cakes were provided in the form of strawberry tarts from Val and raspberry chocolate brownie from Sylvia – many thanks  – and I did have napkins in my rucksack!

Ivy leaved bellflower, seen east of Dead Man's Bridge.

Ivy leaved bellflower, seen east of Dead Man’s Bridge.

Finally, two more before and after photos of shades of green …..

Looking from the bridge towards Yelverton - before.

Looking from the bridge towards Yelverton – before.

 

Looking from the bridge towards Yelverton - after.

Looking from the bridge towards Yelverton – after.

Just as we were packing away the tools, we had a visit from Dartmoor Ranger, Paul Glanville, as he passed by doing the rounds of his “patch”.

The amazing thing about today was the distance covered: 584 metres (638 yards).  A GPS track of this effort has been added to the leat project map, HERE.    My thanks to all the volunteers.  If you are still reading this and have some spare time, why not try a conservation session with the DPA (details HERE).  It can be fun, rewarding, keeps you fit, its free and, often, there’s cake!