A DPA work party of volunteers gathered in the car park of the Cornwood Inn on Saturday 21st November, a propitious meeting place! On cue, Andrea, our local Dartmoor Ranger appeared with her large four-wheel drive vehicle to transport our tools, including four brush-cutters, and our rucksacks to the work site. This was a very welcome aspect of the day – because she picked them up again at about 3 pm and took them back into Cornwood for us! The rest of us shared cars to a friendly farm and walked to the work site.

The purpose of the day was to start clearing vegetation from the ruined Dendles Waste medieval farmstead, in collaboration with Dartmoor National Park Authority.

The work started just inside the gate of a boundary fence, where we started by clearing a track in towards the farm buildings. This meant cutting some low gorse and bramble by hand. The machines came along later and made a finished job of the task, but not without the efforts of the volunteers who cleared away the cuttings.

Clearing the track into the Dendles medieval farmstead.

Clearing the track into the Dendles medieval farmstead.

The photograph above shows two of a line of bamboo “flags”, showing the route of the track that was very overgrown.

Working on a medieval wall.

Working on a medieval wall – a busy scene.

The photograph above shows an area of ground that has been partially cleared next to an old field wall, seen at the right. The area is quite rich in young trees and these have been identified and are being protected with tree guards until they grow big enough for these to be removed. The guards identify the trees that stand in quite deep brambles in places. The scene shows a brush-cutter on top of the wall being refuelled.

A machinist couple, Nigel with the brush-cutter and Stephanie who cleared the cuttings.

A machinist couple – Nigel with the brush-cutter and Stephanie who cleared the cuttings.

This photograph shows two stalwarts, Stephanie Ackland and Nigel Heath. Steph is geared up for removing the cut material that comes from Nigel’s brush-cutter. Observant readers might note that Nigel is supporting Movember, or rather, the rest of us are because he caught us in the Cornwood Inn afterwards with his sponsorship form!

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Group photograph taken at the end of a glorious, sunny but windy, day.

The group consisted of Steph Ackland, Val Barns, Bob Bruce, Peter Butcher, Derek Collins, Nigel Heath, Ellie Littlejohn, Hilary Luce, Nigel Peace, Bill Radcliffe, Keith Ryan, Elaine Viant, John Viant, John Watson and Rachel Watson, making a total of  15. A special ‘thank you’ goes to Hilary for bringing some rather scrumptious cake. I omitted to ask what it was but it was decidedly moreish!

The important aspect of the day was that we cleared 200 m of wall/track to the Dendles farmstead site and started clearing boundary walls and the interior of the farmstead.