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This walk: 2015-10-22. Drakeford Bridge, River Bovey, autumn colours, ancient oak stump, loggers camp, Packsaddle Bridge, Pudding Stone, benchmark, slotted gatepost, Trendlebere Common, Lustleigh, Himalayan balsam.

Walk details below - Information about the route etc.


Old maps .....

Ordnance Survey, Six-inch to the mile, 1888-1913



Where we walked: Google Satellite view of the area - including the GPS track of the walk (compare with the Ordnance Survey map plus track below)

The tracked route is not the most accurate because of the tree cover. Also, the spikes in Lustleigh are because we were sat inside the pub for a while. 

Previous walks in this area: 7th November 2012, 17th January 2013 & 17th June 2015.



Sign beside the car park entrance at Drakeford bridge .....


Drakeford Bridge ..... over the River Bovey .....


Autumn colours of roadside bracken .....


Inscribed stone set into the bridge .....


Inscribed stone in the bridge wall: THIS 1684 BRIDG WAS REPARD BY THE COVNTY, meaning that the bridge was repaired in 1684 (the "4" is reversed).


A quite old-style road sign.


More autumnal bracken.


Seen along the way.


Path beside the River Bovey.


Almost in the River Bovey.


Flood plain.


Autumnal scene .....


Fungi on a dead tree stump.


Stump of what was a very notable tree, from the previous walk (Nov. 2012) .....

"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 2 "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 3 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.

According to information on the British Hardwoods Tree Nursery web site, oak trees can be expected to live for 200-300 years.

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 tree was seen again on 17 January 2013 and from "hug spans" on that walk, it's age was calculated to be approximately 162 years."


From a previous caption: Counting the rings as best as one can here, I made it about 150 years old, now I see 150-162 years estimated above.


Another wayside sign.


Now, here is an interesti8ng sign!


A loggers camp .....


This is a section of the photograph above - the extra photos I took were blurred by head movement.


Four Dartmoor ponies .....


They were waiting for their hooves to be trimmed before driving to Dawlish Warren for conservation grazing duties.


Packsaddle or Hisley Bridge .....


Another view ......


There's the old ford .....


Seen walking from the bridge to the Pudding Stone .....


The Pudding Stone, with a government benchmark facing the camera .....


The benchmark, presumably BM 235-0 on the old map linked near the top of this web page.


The ford, again .....


The Angel of the South ........ well, South Bovey.


Another view of Packsaddle (Hisly) Bridge .....


A much-carved gatepost at the end of the bridge, was it a toll bridge?


A view of slots in the gatepost on a second face.


Looking downstream from the bridge.


A sign near the bridge, heading "north-ish".


The path ahead, in autumn colours - due to xanthophyll, beta-carotene and possibly anthrocyanin after the chlorophyll is broken down in preparation for winter.


A view to Trendlebere Down, after burning (swaling) got out of control earlier in the year .....


Burned gorse stems, showing through recent growth.


A hawthorn leaf.


Part of Gradner Rocks.


View over a gate.


Ash house, seen from SX 78135 80491.


Just a few leaves on the path.


Where are we?


Church of St. John the Baptist, Lustleigh .....


Blow-up sheep, must be for the pre-school group?


Lustleigh Village Cross.


A welcome sight .....


This is one of the most iconic pubs on Dartmoor!


Another view of the cross.


The path goes under the old railway bridges/viaduct (Wikipedia: Lustleigh railway station link).


Ancient doorway, with "1680" inscribed at top left.


Looking ahead, more fallen leaves!


Part of an old railway viaduct.


Footbridge at SX 78701 80916.


Himalayan balsam, Impatiens glandulifera,  near the footbridge, an invasive plant that needs destroying before it spreads: it is already spreading in the area.


Walk details

MAP: Red = GPS satellite track of the walk.

Crown copyright and database rights 2015.  Ordnance Survey Licence number 100047373
Use of this data is subject to terms and conditions.
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 - 6.73 km / 4.18 miles.



All photographs on this web site are copyright 2007-2015 Keith Ryan.
All rights reserved - please email for permissions

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