“Keith’s sold his soul to the Devil” – that’s what they said when they saw the weather that we had for the work party on Saturday 11th January. I know that’s not true, but it was a fantastically beautiful day, wall-to-wall blue sky, and it was due to the bones. Divination by throwing chicken bones is quite common, but don’t forget, we have just celebrated Christmas and turkey bones are that much larger, bigger print, easier to read!
The leat still contained water from the recent wet weather, so we started work at the far end, where it was dry, and worked our way back towards the car park. The work of clearing overhanging thorn branches and gorse went a lot faster than expected …..
In the photograph above, the left half of the leat bed is covered by leaves to, roughly, half the depth of the leat. This is a lot of leaves, mainly oak and beech that have washed down from an area further towards Yelverton – there are none of these trees here. The leaves will probably be dealt with later by burning in situ.
When the leat banks are cleared of gorse, it forms an attractive feature to walk along.
I have to thank Chris Francis, Derek Collins, John & Elaine Viant, Hilary Luce, John Lucas, John & Rachel Watson, Sylvia Hamilton and Val Barns who, including myself, made eleven volunteers: the A Team …..
During the day, the sun became remarkably warm and the various fleece jackets etc. that were worn earlier in the day began to be shed, for comfort.
The photograph above shows Sheep’s Tor (right), Lether Tor (centre) and Peak Hill (left of centre). The photograph below shows a zoomed view to Sheep’s Tor.
Following the recent heavy rain, there was still water in the leat – this is draining, in particular, from Harrowbeer, the old WW2 aerodrome …..
The photographs above give some idea of how it was working in a wet leat – after we had started in the dry!
Towards the end of the afternoon session, a pony came to look at what we had been doing and to sample some of the freshly cut gorse. We received no complaints!
This morning, we started work at the far (Yelverton) end of the leat (as it exists on Roborough Common) and worked to SX 51632 85244, a distance of 355 metres.
After loading the tools back into the cars in the rather crowded car park, we broke with tradition – due to the crowds of people – and diverted to the Burrator Inn, at Dousland. Here passed a very convivial debriefing session that formed the perfect end to a meteorologically, as well as results-wise, perfect day.