Monday 9th December saw the DPA volunteers meeting at the main car park beside Plymouth Leat at Clearbrook.

Clearbrook, as seen from the car park beside the leat.

Clearbrook, as seen from the car park beside the leat.
Note the mist in the Meavy valley.
Click on the images (twice) to see larger versions.

The day was a little cool and there was a mist in the valley of the River Meavy …..

Mist in the Meavy valley with Sheepstor behind.

Mist in the Meavy valley with Sheepstor behind.

The clan gathered in the car park, picked up the tools and then walked back to the finish point of the last day’s work. This was not far and when we got there, I decided that a quick coffee break was in order – that seemed to go down well!

Low-angle view along the leat, there is little to clear in the leat but the banks needed attention.

Low-angle view along the leat, there is little to clear in the leat but the banks needed attention.

The task today was to clear the 480 metres or so that remained on the present (Plymouth) side of the road down into Clearbrook.  This was much easier than it sounds, because there were only two lengths to be cleared of gorse regrowth and bracken – each twenty metres in length! This was done by 12 midday, when we stopped for lunch.

Volunteers at lunch, beside the leat.

Volunteers at lunch, beside the leat.

The volunteers today were Ian Aldersley, Val Barns, Bob Bruce, Chris Francis, Derek Collins, Sylvia Hamilton, Keith Ryan, Elaine Viant, John Viant and Helen Wilson: totalling 10 altogether.

The party were blessed again with two varieties of cake from Elaine: orange-chocolate and ginger. They were both good but just to show the standard there were several appreciative comments about the bits of root ginger in the ginger cake!

Sheepstor from the leat.

Sheepstor from the leat.

There was a fine view from the lunch spot of Sheepstor, as seen in the photograph above. Once lunch was finished, we picked up our tools and rucksacks and walked to the car park where we crossed the road and settled into work again.

Chris, one of the machinists, clearing the bank of the leat with a brush-cutter.

Chris, one of the machinists, clearing the bank of the leat with a brush-cutter.

There was perhaps more sunshine after lunch: the pattern of almost “joined-up” cumulus cloud seen in the photograph above is quite dramatic.

Afternoon working after crossing the Clearbrook road.

Afternoon working after crossing the Clearbrook road.

After crossing the road, we completed perhaps 30 metres of gorse removal. The scene is shown in the photograph above, where the car park is clearly seen towards the right edge. I measured the work length previously with a GPS unit and found that there was about 150 metres to be cleared in a total length of 670 metres. The length of leat cleared so far, for the whole project, can be seen in the project’s Google aerial map HERE.