Members of the Exmoor Society were made extremely welcome by the DPA on the occasion of the societies’ third joint walk on Saturday 19th May. Derek and Bob were knowledgeable and informative guides, while Val was (just like last year) most considerate to those among us who do not manage hills and rough ground as well as our Dartmoor hosts! And everyone else was just so friendly.

We had an absolutely brilliant time. The weather was kind and did not rain. The clouds were high and visibility was excellent. A cuckoo in the plantation opposite Crockern Farm sang so loudly he almost drowned out Derek’s voice. The trees in Wistman’s Wood were just coming into the leaf. The water in the weir did not wet anybody’s feet. The leat burbled along and the cows regarded us with friendly curiosity. The Cowsic River valley was beautiful.

Crossing the weir at the Devonport Leat intake

I loved every minute of it and could have gone on walking for much, much longer. But if I had to choose the best bit, for me it would be Merivale, with its stone rows and standing stones, the cist and the Bronze Age village. We have stone rows and standing stones on Exmoor; we even have a cist in Treborough Woods and various Bronze Age barrows and round houses.

The Standing Stone at Merivale

But we don’t have anything like Merivale. My eyes were out on stalks and my mouth was probably wide open the whole time we were walking round. All this – and with a road going right through the middle of it! Thank heavens the DPA was founded before any more damage was done. And then I was told that those stone rows are nothing compared to some others, which are up to a mile long!!!

Exmoor Society member tries out a cist for size

Thank you , everyone, for such a lovely day.

Oh, my goodness, I almost forgot… When we set out, Derek said there would be a couple of stiles along the way and my husband Tony reckoned that he must have failed maths at school, because there were nearer a couple of dozen…


Jenny Gibson

22 May 2012