Posted by: Ross Gardner | September 21, 2017

Westward Bound

After the delights of Dorset The Big Trip continued on the wonderful West Country (I may have got a little carried away with the alliteration there) of Devon and Cornwall……

Dart Valley nr Dartmeet (scaled)

A prominent presence in Devon is, of course, the splendid expanse of Dartmoor National Park. Amid the rolling moorlands and granite strewn hills are the gleaming gems of thickly wooded river valleys. The Dart Valley is particular stunning and somewhere that I am yet to do justice with a camera, although this hopefully gives some idea.

Trendlebere Down 3 (scaled)

We have visited the moors many times before and it was good to get to some areas new to us, such as (the soon to be rained on) Trendlebere Down.

Woodland Grasshopper 3 (scaled)

the Downs are a National Nature Reserve for good reason, given the rich variety of scarce wildlife, such as the Woodland Grasshopper (Omocestus rufipes).

Helford estuary from Tremayne Woods (scaled)

We were soon on towards Cornwall and our first stop near the Helford River. A walk through Tremayne Woods offered up all the usual sights and sounds a rich woodland habitats – the twitter of bird calls, the head-turning swoop of Silver-washed Fritillary butterflies. The sudden smell of the seawater before laying eyes on it is a most pleasantly counterintuitive combination. The scenic qualities of the two facets are pretty good as well.

Ogo-dour Cove 2 (scaled)

Cornwall is, of course, justly renowned for its coastline, not least here at Predannack on the Lizard peninsula…

Cornish Heath 3 (scaled)

The clifftops harbour a superb array of wildflowers, including the very localised Cornish Heath…

Rose Chafer 2 (scaled)

… and while the number and variety of butterflies offered a more noticeable clue to the wealth of small life, there were others creeping beneath them, like the decidedly splendid and not insubstantial Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata).

Bodmin Moor - The Hurlers Stones plus Engine House 2 (scaled)

But Cornwall is not all about its coast. The granite hills of Bodmin Moor offer a very different flavour of the Cornish countryside, where the ancient histories of the Neolithic inhabitants and their stone circles stand alongside the more recent endeavours of the once thriving local tin industry.

Hartland Point cliffs 4 (scaled)

We headed east again but with time for another stop-off in Devon providing the opportunity to visit the superbly rugged coastline at Hartland Point.

Bank Vole (scaled)

It was here we met this slightly elderly and rather belligerent Bank Vole. It’s not all Gannets and Grey Seals around our coasts you know.

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