The DPA Conservation Volunteers went to work again on Friday 18th July, working first on the Iron Age earthworks on the hill top on Roborough Common, centred at SX 505 641, and then moving onto Drake’s Plymouth Leat.  This was the second day on the leat and this one was misty and damp until about lunch time, when the weather brightened up.  The weather forecast had been quite poor but the conditions were better than expected.


Hilary, Elaine and Sylvia admiring their handiwork – cut bracken!

While the main party worked on the ancient hill fort, Derek and Nigel took two machines and cleared “the outpost” on the south side of the A386 main road, just across the main road where there is a cairn and other features. These are not indicated on the Ordnance Survey 1:25k map, although it is seen (and labeled) on the Google Earth map for the project


Chris, using one of the brush-cutters.

 The bracken growth on the leat is very noticeable compared to that on the earthworks – who can explain that?  Perhaps it is something to do with the leat having been cloaked for a large part in gorse that had now been removed and the bracken is trying to take become dominant in the competition stakes?


A section of Plymouth Leat before clearing the bracken.

The volunteers who turned out with their usual humour and enthusiasm today were, Chris Francis, Derek Collins, Elaine & John Viant, Hilary Luce, John Lucas, John & Rachel Watson, Keith Ryan, Mally Stephen, Nigel Peace, Stephen Barrow, Sylvia Hamilton and Val Barns, totaling 14.  As usually happens, there was cake – orange drizzle, brought by Sylvia – as always, many thanks!


The same section of the leat after clearing the bracken.

The length of leat that was cleared was measured by GPS tracking at being 492 ± 3 metres (about 538 yards).  This has been added to the Google Earth map for the project.  


A final view of this section of cleared leat.