For quite a long period now the UK weather has varied between wet and very wet or so it has seemed. The moorland on which I love walking has stayed waterlogged so the opportunities for walking have been constrained. However last week the time, the opportunity and the weather seemed to coincide. Taking the car to Newton Abbot we parked near the old docks there (long disused) and walked out to the banks of the River Teign. As can be seen the day looked fairly clear and promising. It’s years since I’ve walked this area (preferring the moors or the coast) so it made a change. The plan was to walk to Bovey Tracy along what is mainly a cycleway in the hope of not paddling too much. The track takes you through the Teigngrace area towards the Heathfield industrial estate.
Some areas we walked through were still very wet. However the evidence of the past was striking. There was debris from the floods around a metre from ground level in places on the general flood plain. Part of the walk is along the disused Stover Canal. This is dry but was becoming very overgrown and it was good to see that some clearance and repairs were being undertaken. The industrial history is important to preserve in my view. Arrived at a high point a little east and south of Heathfield industrial estate the view was striking to me. A large (tile) factory with Dartmoor as a backdrop. In fairness there has been industry on Dartmoor itself for many centuries however not on this scale. Walking on towards Bovey Tracy the weather started to change. Looking up I saw the sun breaking through dark cloud and lighting up the power pylon.
Reaching Bovey Tracy we turned around and decided to come back on a slightly alternate route. We headed to Stover Park. The park is a well wooded area with a fairly large lake with quite a few wildfowl and the like on it. It made a good place to stop for a picnic particularly as benches are provided. Shortly before we were about to leave it became obvious that others are accustomed to picnickers there too! Quite a number of squirrels emerged from the bushes and showed some interest in our lunch. They really were remarkably tame however if they do get quite well fed there that is probably not surprising. From there we mostly followed our outward route back to Newton Abbot. Good to be out again for a real walk – hopefully there will be more to come.