The strange beauty of remote landscapes


I guess I was in a thoughtful mood while I was out today and the title of this occurred to me while I was driving up to the moors. We have had a few frosty mornings over the past few days (temperatures around -3 deg C) but this was the first one I was able to get out on.  The early light on Vennford reservoir which supplies Torbay with water was stunning.

The temperatures made walking easier than it would be sometimes as quite wet areas of ground were hard and frozen (& had probably been like it for a few days).  The frost made it easier to see features that are usually not as clear.  The above is a good example of “feather and tare” used to split granite blocks.

Water has been used and managed by man for centuries on the moor.  The above is a shot clearly showing the Holne moor leat which is still flowing.  It flows away from the camera in the centre and then runs left handed along the hillside.  There are two more leats below this one that are no longer running.  The current leat supplies farms with water.

Ore and minerals have also been extracted from the moors for centuries.  The above is the tinner’s hut in the lower part of Deep Swincombe.

This is looking up Deep Swincombe – the area has been extensively worked for tin.

In the UK true wilderness is very rare and most areas have been used/exploited by man over thousands of years. In the course of this walk I saw remains from at least 3000 years ago through to structures that are current that continue to exploit, or make use of, the area’s resources.  Every one of the above images shows the hand of man in this “wild” area, the pony above showing current agricultural use.  There will be a few more images from this walk and on the same theme in a day or so.

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  1. Pingback: Man’s fingerprints on Dartmoor | Westcountry wanderings

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