Monday 23rd November proved to be a very good day for the DPA volunteers work party on Drake’s Plymouth Leat – it started with a blue sky and sunshine and in the afternoon we reached the car park on the road down to Clearbrook.


Sheep’s Tor, seen across the gorse of Roborough Common.


I had a dental appointment first thing in the morning and by the time I arrived, the machines were running and all hands were busy.


Someone recognised me, that’s nice!



A photograph ‘grabbed’ before I started machining.



More looks of recognition – “He’s turned up at last!”


The photograph above shows the day’s starting point, the concrete bridge in the background where we finished on the previous occasion, Monday 12th October.


Lunch in the sunshine, no complaints!


Lunch was a pleasant affair today, with the sun quite low in the sky at midday and casting quite long shadows as can be seen in the leat. The floor is almost all in shadow. One  pleasure was the choice of two different cakes from Elaine – honey cake and carrot cake. Here is another vote of thanks from me for the products of the Great Cornish Bakeoff!

Today’s energetic volunteers were Chris Francis, David Auty, Derek Collins, Elaine Viant, Helen Wilson, John Viant, Keith Ryan, Stephen Barrow, Sylvia Hamilton and Val Barns: 10 in total.


Man in a hurry to get back to work after lunch!


After lunch the day began to fade as cloud started coming in from the west, although the last photographs still show shadows.


Meadow wax cap.


There were several Meadow wax caps to be seen …..


Close-up of the wax cap.


A minor landmark was to reach the clapper bridge at SX 52132 65083 and seeing the small car park on the road nearby.


The leat near the car park, final photograph for the day.


The efforts today resulted in the clearing of a magnificent 977 ± 3 metres (1068 yards). It must be confessed that there were stretches of the leat where there was either no or little vegetation to be cleared. Occasionally one could find some short regrowth coming from old stems, but overall there seems to be little regrowth of the old, tall Common gorse that we cut several years ago – starting Jan/Feb 2007, nearly nine years ago when the leat was hidden under tall gorse for much of its length. The GPS track of today’s efforts have been added to the project Google Satellite view, HERE.