Thursday, 8 November 2012

Dartmoor Walk from Pork Hill towards Peter Tavy and beyond.

Roos Tor (left) and the rocks of Great Staple Tor
Out on the moor today with my IWC to check out a route for a walk with friends next week. We started in Pork Hill car park and then headed due north (ish) to Peter Tavy, thence up the Coombe to Higher Godsworthy (east-ish), across to Stephen's Grave and returning to the car via contouring Cox Tor (south-ish). Just over 7 miles in ideal conditions - clear with panoramic views most of the way around (St Michael's church on the volcanic plug at Brentor was a constant companion in the distance). We passed the 'usual' Dartmoor features of rushing streams, neolithic settlements and hut circles, mediaeval tin workings, open moorland and wooded valleys. How could anyone tire of such sights and sites?

Follow the beak!
Those familiar with Dartmoor and the problems the Dartmoor National Park authority have had over the years with footpath signs (how to keep them unintrusive etc) will be interested in their latest idea. What could be more natural than a bird on the moor? Exactly! The National Park rangers are experimenting with new 'bird' signs and we came across the one shown at the exit to our starting point for the walk. The idea is that, instead of finger posts, the beak of a bird (the jackdaw seems to be the favourite because of its size) points in the right direction. The bird is very life like and had me fooled for a while until I went up to it for a look. It's really well attached to the information board (despite my very best yob simulation, I couldn't make it move) and it should prove vandal proof. I think it's a great idea and it will be interesting to see how people take to it. Let's hope nobody gives it the bird (boom, boom!).

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