A view from Brentor Commons

Will Walker-Smith writes……….
The bracken is now disappearing back into the ground and as it does the contours reveal the old mine workings that cover Bowden Down. Some areas are obviously old spoil heaps, the pits were where ochre was mined and the fenced areas are formerly shafts or adits. The mining ceased many years ago as it was not profitable and grew on the back of the fabulously successful Hogs Tor Manganese mines in Chillaton.
Meanwhile work has continued on Bowden Down. We have reduced the Gorse forest down the side of the road going towards Liddaton to make passing easier and to give drivers and deer a better chance of not coming into contact. We have also cleared gorse and bracken opposite Whitstone Farm to make it a better environment for our butterfly population.
The info board on Bowden has gone back to its makers for refurbishment due to the frame “moving“ too much. We now have a board on Liddaton Down by the crossroads. John
Wheeler has been the driving force behind the design and procurement of these boards with some financial assistance from our County Councillors locality Fund.  All of this work has been carried out by the Tavistock Taskforce—a wonderful organisation that gives all kinds of people of all abilities, opportunities to get involved in conservation work. They work so hard in all conditions and are always cheerful, resourceful and a delight to be with.
This autumn has brought the most amazing variety of fungi to the land and trees; we have never seen so many different types. Laurel, Jim and myself checked the Dormouse Boxes in the old mine area, all of which have been used by some creatures at some point. We did find evidence of hazel nuts that had been chewed by dormice, so they are …..somewhere!
Please come and have a look sometime, I am very happy to show people around into the unknown parts of both Downs, or just to accompany them on the main areas.
Will Walker-Smith   01822 860165   liddaton@me.com