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.........................