Friday 9th January was a grey day as the DPA Conservation Team congregated in the car park by the leat on the road down to Clearbrook.  The group was split into two parties with four people driving to the end section of Drake’s Plymouth Leat while the remainder walked to the west end of the tunnel in Devonport Leat.

The original appearance of this section can be seen in photographs for the blog entry for 12th December, this photograph being one from the recce in August 2014 …..

Looking towards the western end of Plymouth leat on Roborough Common (photo taken 20th August).

Looking towards the western end of Plymouth leat on Roborough Common (photo taken 20th August).

This section was not cleared in the original clearance that started pre-2007 due to the number of hawthorn trees and the entanglement of their branches.  This time the work was tackled, partly for the sake of completion of the commission, partly for tidiness and partly to discourage fly-tipping that was going on behind the scrub trees and the large bramble patch. The hawthorn and brambles nearby were not touched.

Plymouth Leat finally cleared.

Plymouth Leat finally cleared.

After the photograph above was taken, and lunch, we made our way back to the main party on Devonport Leat – just as the rain started.

Unfortunately, I left my camera in the car and consequently took no photographs of the other group at work.  The work involved mainly brush-cutting a lot of brambles and dead bracken – these occurred in patches and there was no measurement of the distance covered.  This would also be a little misleading because the party were separated  for safety reasons and there was still scrub to be cut when the rain persuaded us to stop work.

The volunteers today were Bill Radcliffe, Chris Francis, David Auty, Derek Collins, Elaine Viant, Helen Wilson, John Lucas, John Viant, John Watson, Keith Ryan, Rachel Watson, Stephen Barrow, Sylvia Hamilton and Val Barns – 14 of us. Thanks to Val for the cake!

Machining over the tunnel roof on Devonport Leat.

Machining over the tunnel roof on Devonport Leat.

Thanks to Rachel for the one photograph from the Devonport Leat contingent that survived the rain!  It shows two brush-cutter operators and a ‘raker-upper’.