Coombe Vale Nature Reserve

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Lovely after today, despite some spring rain. That did not put myself and my brother off exploring Coombe Vale Nature Reserve  and playing football. It is only a short walk down Vale. Which good to have some nature right on your doorstep.  After playing football I realised now unfit I am. Nonetheless it was nice to have a kick about. We found that there are a lot of flowers out to play at the minute especially bluebells and snowdrops.
As always I am looking forward to the next outing although,
The football pitch in Coombe Vale
My brother having a little explore
The river in Coombe Vale
The Brook or small river in the vale
Pine trees in Coombe Vale

Bluebell hunt

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Last week I had a conversation with Two Blondes Walking on twitter. After seeing the pictures that they had taken of the bluebells around Hound Tor and Holwell Lawn. Some of the pictures that they posted were very good indeed, if you want to have a look check them out on there blog. Yesterday I dragged my brother out to go and find some bluebells or ‘blueberrys’ as my brouther called them. After parking up on the south west side of Saddle Tor it was only a short trip down to Emsworthy. I had seen some good pictures of Emsworthy from many different people saying that it has some amazing bluebells. I did get a few pictures of the bluebells, unfortunately my camera did them no justice. From Emsworthy we could see Holwell Lawn and I have to say it was looking incredibly blue. It looks like another trip is on the horizons, possibly Tuesday when we go climbing.

Emsworthy near Saddle Tor

When driving home via a detour to have a look at some camping near Holne, also, we went through Hembury Woods and where surprised to find it completely full of bluebells. If anybody is in the local area it might be worth a look.

Please share any photos that you have on my Twitter page.


Open fire cooking

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Nothing better than to finish the week off with than going up to the youth centre and cook up some food on an open fire with the young people – of course we took the necessary actions for there safety. The young people where very much involved in the setting up and cooking (under close supervision). I have to so they thoroughly enjoyed the experience as well as the sausages! We cooked them up in a Dutch oven on a fire bowl, the Dutch oven is an awesome thing for cooking in as it can cook almost anything in it.
The aftermath of the fire bowl.

Has anybody else noticed the massive difference in flavour, compared to cooking on gas or electricity? Everything that is cooked on an open fire just tastes amazing. Which do you prefer open fire or cooker?


Dartmoor Walks – Homeward Bound

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Waking up on Sunday it was a glorious day, which was good – well when is it not good! – as I was heading out with Moorland Guides with the intent of learning the ropes of guiding. After a short drive up to Hound Tor car park and getting a little jealous of some people going climbing. I joined the group of several other people waiting to go out on the Homeward Bound walk with John Lowe. John Lowe is an old friend of mine who I meet from my time with at 624 Volunteer Gliding Squadron.
John introduced the story of RAF crash of a Handley Page Hampden at Hameldown. The story is that on the night of 21st March 1941, a Hampden crashed whilst returning from a raid on the sub pens at Lorraine. Before John started digging around, there was not a lot of information about the Hampden crash apart from the memorial at SX 713 807. Over the last few years John has been piecing together what happened on that night. Even now he is still finding out more, although he reckons he will never find out what truly happened. We all then headed off on the walk with John leading the way whilst explaining in very great detail the events that led up to the crash from what he has found. While en route to the memorial we stopped at Jay’s Grave which has an interesting history in it’s self, the suicide of a young girl in the late 18th Century and the mysterious appearance of flowers on the grave everyday. From Jay’s Grave we followed a green lane to bottom of Hameldown, at this point John then took us through the different scenarios that people at the time had seen and heard. He then went through the history of the four young men who lost their lives on that night. The men who lost there lives are as follows: Robert Wilson (Pilot), Ronald Brames (Air Gunner), Richard Leonard Ashburton Ellis (Navigator), Charles John Lyon (Wireless Operator). Unfortunately I can not remember word for what John has said but if you wish to find out more follow the links below for get in touch.  
More information on Jay’s Grave – Legendary Dartmoor
The Moorland Guides – John’s Walks
Hampden Crash – 49 Squadron
Rest in peace all of those who died to keep us free. Please remember the fallen.
Thanks for reading.

Haldon Aerodrome Search

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After going through many links on the Internet during the week I stumbled upon a fact that intrigued me; Teignmouth used to have an Aerodrome and quite a large one at that. Little Haldon Aerodrome approximately 4 km from Teignmouth, was used from 1928 until 1946. Discovering this I wanted to find out more so I went for a ramble around Haldon looking for any signs of the Aerodrome. My search was quite unfruitful apart from some ruins that I had no idea whether they belong to the Aerodrome or not. It is a real shame as “Teignmouth Airport” as it was commercially know before the outbreak of the Second World War and HMS Heron 2 when it was passed over to Royal Naval Air Service in 1941. To find out more here is a link to a lot stuff about the Aerodrome.


Modrydd Campsite

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Friday 29th March, leaving Teignmouth to head up to the Brecon Beacons for the Easter weekend. It was a challenge just getting there as my car is not very big and with four days worth of kit and three people it was pretty interesting with the suspension taking a beating.

After a 3 hour drive we arrived at the camp site; a field owned by the Powell Family which is in the valley of the horseshoe ridge of Pen Y Fan, Corn Du and Cefn Cwn Llwch. The camp site itself is amazing if you are willing to wild camp as there are no facilities apart from a river, also, camp fires are allowed at the site but keep them under control. It is an ideal site for Duke of Edinburgh groups, or, people wanting to get camping within a short distance of Pen Y Fan, as well as those on longer expedition. There is a small charge of £3 per person, per night which is not much to when you get so much out of this lovely location as it is only a short distance from Brecon and there is a pub down the road in Libanus.

Here is a little video of what the camp site is like it does not cover the whole area it is a very large camp. Please note that the temperature was about -2 when this was taken.


The proximity to the mountains is very good as can bee seen from the Google Earth image above

If you would like to get in contact with the Powell Family there details can be found below: (Correct at the writing of this post)

Colin & Shelia Powell,
Penstar Libanus,
Powys (Site: Cwm Llwch).
01874 622702

There are other places stay in the local area including youth hostels, farms with facilities and camping barns for a more comprehensive list visit the Brecon Beacons National Park website. (Links found at the bottom of the page)

Remember if you do camp out on the moors, mountains or even at a camp site. Please take all your rubbish home with you and leave it in the state you found it so future campers can enjoy it as much as you have.

Happy Exploring

Places to stay in the Brecon Beacons
Camping on Farms in the Brecon Beacons