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News From October 2015

Langaford Farm Visit

Langaford Farm Visit

Visit to Langaford Farm Charitable Trust near Moretonhampstead on Saturday 17th October 2015

Posted in Events on Tuesday 27th October 2015 at 12:12am

38 eager Dartmoor Society Members were introduced to the delights of Langaford Farm Trust on the afternoon of Saturday 17th October.

Our host Ces Holt who is the Trust Manager, fellow Trustees John Mills and Dave Bunting all did a magnificent job of providing tea, coffee and biscuits on arrival and under the cover of the barn Ces gave us an introduction of how the Trust first started. It was founded in accordance with the Will Trust Deed of the late Geoffrey Bayes and then she went on to explain that it had been formally confirmed as a Charitable Trust in January 2002.

The main focus of the Trust is to maintain and encourage the ecological enhancement of its 100 acres of land and by working with various professional outside bodies, one of which is the Butterfly Conservation Council, they are able to encourage many rare and unusual species of flora, fauna and wildlife.

The Trust is very proud to have won an award in 2011 in recognition of their contribution to Lepidoptera Conservation (Marsh Fritillary Butterfly). In addition, at the Farm, they have over 100 species of lichen, over 100 species of mosses and liverworts and over 100 species of moths.

We all walked around the beautiful large pond areas and undulating fields and all agreed that the whole area had a special aura of tranquillity about it. There are 200 sheep belonging to a Tenant which graze at the Farm and four ponies, all Mares. We were even treated to see three roe deer who bounded their way off to the safety of the nearby wooded area.

The whole afternoon was rounded off by assembling back in the barn where we had started our tour and whilst we enjoyed more refreshments kindly supplied by Ces and the Trustees we socialised and chatted about the delights of the afternoon.

Our Chairman Dr Tom Greeves gave special thanks to Ces, John and Dave and everyone agreed it had been a truly enchanting experience.

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PCWW Boundary Stone Before Works

PCWW Boundary Stone After Works

New Work on Conservation of PCWW Boundstones, Cramber Tor Training Area

Posted in General on Tuesday 27th October 2015 at 12:08am

Further to our initial conservation work in 2014 on eight of the PCWW (Plymouth Corporation Waterworks) boundstones, we have now had another very successful day on which seven more stones were conserved, with thanks again to the very generous support of Graham Colton.

For the original write-up on this initiative please see this news article.

On 16 October 2015 six Dartmoor Society volunteers (Tom and Elisabeth Greeves, Tanya and Barry Welch who brought along some of their tools, Barrie Quilliam, and Simon Booty who also supplied tools as well as the use of his Land Rover and Dumper truck), all met at the start of the track to Nuns Cross Farm.

Graham Colton’s driver Mark Cole also attended with a tractor and trailer, and his help was truly invaluable. Warm thanks must also go to Justine and David Colton who very kindly provided use of another tractor and front loader. Weather conditions were perfect and the ground was uncharacteristically dry.

We all headed past Nuns Cross Farm to the south-western slope of Eylesbarrow, to work on two of the remotest PCWW boundstones. We then moved to the Forest of Dartmoor boundary between Eylesbarrow and Nuns Cross and were able to conserve another four PCWW stones as well as an unmarked Forest of Dartmoor boundary stone.

Two of the stones were recumbent and took extra effort to re-erect. All the stones had hollows around their bases which required filling with soil, and some had rushes growing against them, which needed trimming.

The Dartmoor Society is most grateful to have received from the Maristow Estate a letter dated 15 October 2015 and a generous donation in the form of a cheque for £500 ‘In recognition of the conservation work your organisation carries out on the Commons of Dartmoor’, in the hope that it ‘will help towards future projects’.

A further day of work is being planned for 2016.

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