Tuesday 20th March was our 17th and final work day of the season. I was afraid that at one point we had bitten off more than we could chew – but I should have known better – I had forgotten that we had The”A” Team ….. …..

The "A" Team

The "A" Team around the last of the bonfire - click image for a larger version

We returned to the section of gorse where the leat runs along the southern edge of Yelverton Golf Club. We had done a lot of the work on our previous visit (Thu 8th Mar) but there was still a 40-yard stretch on one bank that needed attention.

A view of the leat towards the end of the day - click image for a larger version

A view of the leat towards the end of the day - click image for a larger version

The period from mid-morning to lunchtime saw a lot of cuttings in the leat and to tell the truth, I was worried. We cancelled a small party that was destined to look at the lengths of leat that we had already cleared – it was a case of all hands to the pump for a while. It worked and, as if by magic, a lot of the pile had gone on the bonfire by lunchtime …..

The bonfire reducing the cuttings to ash

The bonfire reducing the cuttings to ash - click image for a larger version

For this, I must once again thank the DPA volunteers: Barry & Tanya, Bill, Bob, Chris, Darren, Derek, Elaine & John, Helen, John, John & Rachel, Keith, Mark, Roger, Stephanie, Steve, Sylvia and Val, who, along with myself, made 21 of us.

By the way, I should say that, as before, I had telephoned the Fire Control Room at Exeter to give notice of our fire, plus we had the usual water spray, beaters and fire protection gear in use as can be seen in the previous blog ‘post’ about Devonport Leat.

A particular “Thank-you” is due to Val who maintained the great leat tradition of cake! This time there was a choice of carrot (with a lot of walnut, yummy) and chocolate.

I'm done!

I'm done! Click image for a larger version

The gorse on this section was hard on the chain saws when cutting close to the ground. It gave the impression of being very tough wood indeed compared to any other variety of wood that we have encountered.

When we finished, this part of the leat looked completely different to when we started …..

Above - before; below - after. Click for a larger image

Above - before; below - after. Click for a larger image

Above, the ball-shaped bush in the lower “after” photo is marked by a “V” in the upper “before” photo. This shows just how much gorse has been cut back, exposing the leat and both of its banks, all left neat and tidy. This shows how much work is done by DPA volunteers, preserving the archaeology of Dartmoor for the future. I think the leat can be described as one of Dartmoor’s jewels.

If you would like to join us, you can start with the Contact us page on the DPA web site.

If you like to get the best out of the photos presented here, click on the image to see the large version, then press F11 – this toggles back and forth between “Full screen” view and “Normal screen” view. The backspace key returns you to the original web page.

After the job was finished, most of us gravitated once more to The Rock Inn, at Yelverton. Here were tales told of the day’s deeds done. Once again, my grateful thanks to everyone who has helped throughout the season – I hope you all have a good summer.