This walk: 2012-11-7. Drakeford Bridge, Pullabrook Wood, Woodland Trust, River Bovey, Yellow Stag's-horn Fungus, Trendlebere Down, wood ants nest, Lustleigh Parish 2000 boundary stone, packsaddle bridge, Hisley Bridge, Hisley Wood, Pudding Stone, benchmark, slotted gate post, flood plain, Rudge Wood, crustose lichen, 1684 inscribed stone, liverwort, otter sign, turkey.
Walk details below - Information about the route etc.
Link to Google Satellite view of the area - the car park is seen just south of "Ivy Cottage"
This walk was repeated on 17 January 2013.
Drakeford Bridge, SX 7895 8012, from the Bovey Tracey, Parke & Yarner Wood direction.
Pullabrook Wood notice at the entrance to the car park, on the left, immediately before the bridge.
Drakeford Bridge as seen on entering the car park .....
The car park, quite large.
Sign at the far end of the car park, seen by the gate.
Woodland Trust notice on the gate at the entrance into the wood.
Merrily we stroll along - we are not afraid of a bit of mud (wrestling!), to come later ...............
Walking beside the River Bovey.
Another river view.
An area of flood plain, with Rosebay Willowherb, Chamerion angustifolium ..... (left) and bracken (behind and right).
A seat with a view of the river .....
The plaque on the seat (other such seats were seen later).
Yellow Stag's-horn Fungus, Calocera viscosa.
A very steep slope, this photograph was taken at some personal risk! .....
The mud-wrestling site! The mud was deceptively deep and sticky.
Nearly at the top.
Who lives here? ...............
The old man of the woods!
A view to Trendlebere Down .....
Zoomed view .....
Looking down the track to Packsaddle Bridge.
Wood ants' nest.
Lustleigh Parish, 2000 (Millenium) boundary stone.
There was once a gateway here, note the iron gate-hanger.
A meeting at the Pudding Stone .....
The stone bears a cut bench mark.
The Pudding Stone again .....
..... and again.
Sign to Packsaddle Bridge, properly called Hisley Bridge.
Hisley Bridge, SX 7798 8002, medieval pack and saddle bridge .....
Hisley or Packsaddle Bridge - across the bridge is Hisley Wood.
Slotted gate post at the west end of Hisley Bridge, not actually part of the structure .....
River view from alongside Hisley Bridge.
Sign located immediately north-east of the bridge.
Last view from the other side.
Walking back along the flood plain.
Somewhere along here there is a large English oak tree, with a sizeable trunk. Three of us joined hands and "hugged" it - it actually took 2½ "hugs". We discovered later that this is a recognised method for finding ancient trees to be recorded on the Ancient Tree Hunt web site: Recognising ancient trees! It actually stipulates "adult hugs", do we all qualify? One "hug" is taken as being 1.5 metres, therefore this tree was about 3¾ metres around the trunk. At a commonly-used estimate of 1-inch (2.5 cm) increase in girth for a free-growing (uncrowded) tree per year then this indicates an age of about 150 years. If it was 3.5 m in girth, then it would be about 140 years old. A caveat: this growth rate does not apply to the youngest trees and nor to old trees that grow less slowly until they cease growing altogether.
Recorded ancient trees can be found on this ancient-tree-hunt.org.uk interactive map. The biggest tree I know of locally (that is on the map) is the large beech in Princetown car park, Tree 110530, with a girth of 4.9 metres.
NB - The tyree was seen again on 17 January 2013 and from "hug spans" on that walk, it's age was calculated to be approximately 162 years.
On the rear of a large information sign .....
East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve - note the yellow warning about old mines and staying on the paths. Click on the photo to see a larger version (the large version IS large, so that you can make use of the map).
Another River Bovey view.
Still on the flood plain ..... at left and in the distance is Rudge Wood .....
An old pattern road sign?
Crustose lecanorine (with discoid apothecia the same colour as the thallus) lichen on the parapets of Drakeford Bridge, tentatively identified as Crab's eye lichen or Ochrolechia parella (also Devon coast link). This is described by Frank S Dobson (2005, first edition 1979), Lichens - An illustrated guide to the British and Irish species, Richmond Publishing, page 284. "Very common on hard, siliceous rocks and walls, especially slates and schists. Rarely found on trees." The distribution map shows it to be not widely distributed at all - being on the west coasts of Ireland, Scotland and north Wales, and in south Devon .....
Fruiting bodies i.e. apothecia.
Inspecting an inscribed stone on Drakeford Bridge .....
THIS 1684 BRIDG WAS REPARD BY THE COVNTY, meaning that the bridge was repaired in 1684.
Looing down from the bridge to what we believed to be a sign of otter activity, where one has scraped in the sand of the river bank .....
Meanwhile, back at the pub (The Rugglestone, Widecombe) ...............
"Merry Christmas everyone!"
MAP: Red = GPS satellite track of the walk.
© Crown copyright and database rights 2012 Ordnance Survey Licence number 100047373
Also, Copyright © 2005, Memory-Map Europe, with permission.
This walk was reached by travelling from Plymouth, up the A38 to Bovey Tracey, going across the first roundabout, turning left at the second roundabout, driving up past Parke (Natio0nal Park HQ), following the right-hand branch in the road where it is signed "Manaton" ("Haytor etc. to the left), turning right at "Reddaford Water"(the right-hand turn before reaching Yarner Wood), and driving to the first bridge (Drakeford Bridge) and turning left into the car park immediately before the bridge, marked by the yellow cross on the map above.
Distance - 3.85 km / 2.39 miles.