Friday, 28 May 2010

Me and whose army?

A routine trot from Peat Cott turned into something a bit more exciting in the end.
From Peat Cott it was a mincer-clad trot down the motorway to Nun's Cross Farm and then proper barefoot up to Eylesbarrow. The uncomfortably hot temps (hot for a northerner, anyway) had given way to fresher, cooler conditions. Up to Combeshead Tor and then to Down Tor where Spook had a brief 'chat' with one of those wiry-haired little terriers. A draw in the end although with a couple of penalty appeals.

From there it was across to the stone row (usually called Down Tor stone row, although called Hingston Hill stone row knowingly by the 'experts') The terrain is just about perfect for bf here - lovely springy turf. Unfortunately, this is one of the many 'restored' prehistoric remains on Dartmoor and it is difficult to say which of the stones are original or in their intended positions. Many of the stones were re-erected in 1874 and the largest three secured with 'a little Portland cement'. Whether we see the row as the original builders intended, or as the 'restorers' thought looked right we will never know.

Back to Nun's Cross and back on with the mincers for the return leg. I could hear the crackle of gunfire and thought that the activities on the live firing ranges on the north moor were being carried on the wind. As I ran further up the track the gunfire was getting close so I began thinking that it must be firing on the Cramber Tor training area, which used for occasional 'dry' firing about 2 km to the ENE. As I got further up the track I could see that two groups of squaddies were shooting at each other across the track. Sizable chunks of the north moor are closed to the public on a regular basis for live firing and two areas on the south moor (Cramber Tor and Ringmoor Down) are available for dry training as and when required. So I carried on running between the warring factions. One shouted 'Cease fire! Civvy!' to which I replied 'Yes, cos it's a ******* national park!'

They were clearly well outside of their training area on a busy track used by a number of 'civvies' at the time so I felt a bit better after grassing them up to the DNPA.........................


  1. Damn right - grass 'em up!

    It must be great to be able to get out on Dartmoor so regularly. Are you familiar with areas of the moor near Chudleigh? The in-laws live there and I usually try and fit in a run when we're visiting. Grateful for any tips:)

  2. Hi Matt,

    There's some good running from Haytor - park at the top car park and run past the quarry, round to Black Hill (there's some good tracks through the gorze) then pick a line down to the Becka Brook and up the bridlepath to Hound Tor. Round Hound, back down the bridlepath, pick a line up to Smallacombe Rocks, over to Holwell Tor and back over to Haytor. A bit flat apart from the dip to the brook, but should do you for a leg-stretch!

  3. Encyclopedic! When I get out I'll post it on the blog. Cheers

  4. sounds like captain mainwaring and the lads out there being so off piste!
    does spook mind the firing? maybe his name gives it away

  5. Incredible. I would have paused on the track in between them and called the DNPA there and then on my mobile. How much 'moor' land do these guys need to practise their shootouts?!?!

  6. I was only in pleasant mode cos one of the guys made a fuss of Spook as he mobbed him for his ration pack!