“Keith’s sold his soul to the Devil” – that’s what they said when they saw the weather that we had for the work party on Saturday 11th January.  I know that’s not true, but it was a fantastically beautiful day, wall-to-wall blue sky, and it was due to the bones. Divination by throwing chicken bones is quite common, but don’t forget, we have just celebrated Christmas and turkey bones are that much larger, bigger print, easier to read!

The leat still contained water from the recent wet weather, so we started work at the far end, where it was dry, and worked our way back towards the car park. The work of clearing overhanging thorn branches and gorse went a lot faster than expected …..

Leaves accumulated in Plymouth Leat

Leaves accumulated in Plymouth Leat

In the photograph above, the left half of the leat bed is covered by leaves to, roughly, half the depth of the leat. This is a lot of leaves, mainly oak and beech that have washed down from an area further towards Yelverton – there are none of these trees here.  The leaves will probably be dealt with later by burning in situ.

Cleared section of Plymouth Leat

Cleared section of Plymouth Leat

When the leat banks are cleared of gorse, it forms an attractive feature to walk along.

Lunch on the leat

Lunch on the leat

I have to thank Chris Francis, Derek Collins,  John  & Elaine Viant, Hilary Luce, John Lucas, John & Rachel Watson, Sylvia Hamilton and Val Barns who, including myself, made eleven volunteers: the A Team …..

The A Team in action

The A Team in action

During the day, the sun became remarkably warm and the various fleece jackets etc. that were worn earlier in the day began to be shed, for comfort.

Looking towards Sheep's Tor and Leather Tor - with reflections in a pool

Looking towards Sheep’s Tor and Leather Tor – with reflections in a pool

The photograph above shows Sheep’s Tor (right), Lether Tor (centre) and Peak Hill (left of centre). The photograph below shows a zoomed view to Sheep’s Tor.

Zoomed view to Sheep's Tor, looking over Clearbrook hamlet (bottom right)

Zoomed view to Sheep’s Tor, looking over Clearbrook hamlet (bottom right)

Following the recent heavy rain, there was still water in the leat  – this is draining, in particular, from Harrowbeer, the old WW2 aerodrome …..

Working in the Plymouth paddy fields - 1

Working in the Plymouth paddy fields – 1

Working in the Plymouth paddy fields - 2

Working in the Plymouth paddy fields – 2

The photographs above give some idea of how it was working in a wet leat – after we had started in the dry!

A pony samples our work!

A pony samples our work!

Towards the end of the afternoon session, a pony came to look at what we had been doing and to sample some of the freshly cut gorse. We received no complaints!

This morning, we started work at the far (Yelverton) end of the leat (as it exists on Roborough Common) and worked to SX 51632 85244, a distance of 355 metres.

After loading the tools back into the cars in the rather crowded car park, we broke with tradition – due to the crowds of people – and diverted to the Burrator Inn, at Dousland. Here passed a very convivial debriefing session that formed the perfect end to a meteorologically, as well as results-wise, perfect day.