The DPA’s largest landholding is High House Waste, north of Cornwood, on the south of the moor.
On Sunday 18th September members were invited to an ‘open day’ to learn about the site, its management, history and prehistory. A select group walked from the car park on Heathfield Down, via West Rook Gate to the Sayer Gate, the main entrance to High House Waste.
Once on High House Waste, ecologist Hilary Marshall explained about the management and showed members some of the special features of the largest (southern) mire and the woodland. Lunch was taken in early autumn sunshine close to the post-medieval farmstead – some of the tumbled buildings are visible, as well as extensive boundary/field banks and a hollow way.
Then followed a bit of uphill to the Bronze Age settlement in the north east. [see the two pages of map, plan and notes from The Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities by Jeremy Butler]. While reminding himself of the settlement Bill Radcliffe found another hut circle some 100 metres from those on the plan – we’re checking whether it has been recorded.
Then down to the stile and over the Broadall Lake onto Dartmoor National Park land, stopping only to pick up a large ‘Hello Kitty’ balloon [my photo of Bill hidden behind it].
On Dendles, after a bit of a search we found the cist close to the main track, but now rather lost in the vegetation.
From the track we had good views of the eastern slope of High House Waste, showing some of the walls and firebreaks cleared and areas swaled by conservation volunteers in recent years, as well as the gorse covered hillside and regenerating rowans. Although quantities are small, heather seems to be thriving where the swaling has taken place.
After walking down through DNPA land past Dendles National Nature reserve we were met and taken back to our cars by Derek and the DPA APY wagon.