Counting the rings as best as one can here, I made it about 150 years old, now I see 150-162 years estimated above. Oil beetle (photos) ..... As previous photograph. Dor (or Dung) beetle ..... As previous photograph. Fallen tree forming a substantial natural bridge across the River Bovey. Bench ..... Plaque. Packsaddle (or Hisley) Bridge, at SX 77983 80021 ..... Packsaddle Bridge ..... Packsaddle Bridge ..... Packsaddle Bridge ..... Packsaddle Bridge ..... Packsaddle Bridge ..... Looking upstream from Packsaddle Bridge ..... Looking downstream ..... From Packsaddle Bridge ..... That's one way to stop traffic ..... note the slotted gatepost. Wood ants' nest ..... Closer view. Trendlebeare Down, scene of a recent large-scale fire when swaling went wrong ..... Zoomed view of burnt gorse with bracken coming through. Another group photograph ..... Another group photograph. Wood ants. Looking back down the slope. Common broom Cytisus scoparius ..... Broom flower. Looking towards Gradner Rocks. Wild honeysuckle or Woodbine, Lonicera periclymemum ..... As previous photograph. Another valley photograph. An ash house. Red campion, Silene dioica and Cow parsley. Along the way. White foxgloves. Church of St. John the Baptist, Lustleigh ..... The church ..... Scene including Lustleigh Village Cross ..... I see somewhere to go ..... The Cleave public house ..... and only halfway through the walk ..... As previous photograph ..... The garden ..... Notice. That is quite an entrance to the house. Village scene. A tree growing on a large rock. Mystery plant I. Mystery plant II ..... Closer view. Small bridge, at SX 78701 80916. Russian comfrey ..... The leaf."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. 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."
MAP: Red = GPS satellite track of the walk.
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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 - 6.72 km / 4.18 miles.