Figure of eight walk in April sunshine

Looking over Fox Tor mire

After the weather of the last 6 months or so a spell of fine weather just before Easter (2014) made getting out for a walk a must.  As it was forecast to be fine all day we decided to head into the centre of the moors and we parked close to Fox Tor mire (of Hound of the Baskervilles fame).  Getting out of the car we realised that, while it was very sunny, that didn’t mean it would be all that warm however we set off wearing just thermal tops and were warm enough as soon as we got going.  The picture above was taken shortly after we set off and looks over Nuns Cross farm (the building in the foreground) and east over Fox Tor mire.  Fox Tor itself is just in shot of the far right.

As we headed up to Eylesbarrow to drop into the valley of the upper Plym it was good to see a number of lambs enjoying the sunshine. The ones above caught our eye one being black and the other white. The other picture looks down the valley of the upper Plym. The tor on the right hand bank is Higher Harter Tor while the tor on the upper left is Hen Tor. We headed along the ancient track and over the Plym at Plym ford.

 

Erme Pits

We walked over the col that leads into Erme Pits so named for the quite deep working left by tin workers.  The river Erme also starts just above the workings.  The photograph above shows part of the workings which are both extensive and impressive close up.  It is remarkable what was achieved simply and literally by man power.  From here we walked along one of the old workings until we reach Ducks Pool stream which flows south to join the Erme nearby.  By now it was significantly warmer and we were sheltered from the little wind there was.

Ducks Pool is a fairly remote spot on the south moor and although it does get visitors they are infrequent other than in the summer months and even then it is quite a quiet area of the moor.  We stopped for a break and were joined briefly by one resident who can be seen above.  It was a Common Lizard out making the most of the sunshine however he was fairly wary and getting anything like a good shot of it proved difficult.  Ducks Pool is probably a depression made by and used by tinners.  There was still a little water to be seen as one of the above pictures show however given the rain we have had over the winter I was quite surprised how quickly the moor was drying out.  There is also evidence of the old tin miners occupation of the area in the shape of the old tinners hut which can be seen above too.

Looking west from Great Gnats Head

Realising that we had been moving rather faster than we thought despite not having been out that often we abandoned plans to head further north to Fox Tor and then back to the car beside Fox Tor mire in favour of turning the walk into a figure of eight one by heading west back over the Plym and then towards the southern edge of Eylesbarrow.  The above shot looks approximately west from Great Gnats Head over the upper part of the river Plym and Eylesbarrow.  We walked from here to roughly a mid point of the photograph. where I took the following shot.

The track south from Eylesbarrow

The shot looks down the old mine track from Eylesbarrow down the western edge of the valley of the Plym towards Sheepstor. Twenty or thirty years ago it would have been fairly rare to see many folk along this track however it is used far more now and is actually a cycle route though after the winter weather a little rough in places at present. We contoured around Eylesbarrow on its western side until we got back to Nuns Cross farm and then the car. A great walk in lovely weather and hopefully there will be more to come.