The River Plym near Cadover Bridge

I was at Lower Cadworthy Farm earlier in the week to meet a former National Trust colleague to discuss a project I am working on for the NT. Lower Cadworthy Farm is owned by the NT and run as long term volunteer accommodation. It was lovely bright day and after the meeting I had a short walk down to the river.

Lower Cadworthy Farm
Lower Cadworthy Farm – refurbished and run by lots of green technology – see here

Plym 2The River Plym runs past the house at the bottom of the field

Plym 1Note that the sessile oaks are yet to come into leaf – the green in the trees you can see in the photo is ivy

Plym 3The fringe next to the river shows historic signs of tin streaming

Plym 4And also the remains of a leat used to power a mill

Parke’s stableblock roof – repaired for bats and the building

The National Trust and our tenant at Parke, The Dartmoor National Park Authority have recently commissioned work to repair the structural faults in the roof of the stableblock.

The building is a grade 2 listed building and is also home to a large colony of lesser horseshoe bats. As a result we have worked closely with George Bemment a local bat expert and the work has been licensed by Natural England and Teignbridge District Council.

Stables 3The stable block before the work commenced – scaffolding just going up and the Walled Garden in the background

Stables 2The scaffolding is put up

Stableblock1 The back of the roof – a number of eaves and beams have been replaced and new ‘felt’ and batons installed

Stableblock2 The front of the stable block with a mix of new and recycled local roof slates

The total UK population of lesser horseshoe bats is about 17,000 individuals of which around 8000 occur in England. They live  in over 170 maternity roosts and around 300 hibernation sites (hibernacula) in south-west England and Wales. Until the early 20th century, the species benefited from abandoned mine workings, but the sealing of old mines is likely to have reduced the population and range. Recent monitoring suggests that populations are increasing, particularly in Wales, with increased densities in wooded areas.

The maternity roost at Parke contains between 200 and 300 animals and therefore is nationally significant.

This work on the roof will ensure the property remains available for this rare species.


A lesser horseshoe bat in typical pose
By Gilles San Martin from Namur, Belgium [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Here is the UK distribution map of lesser horseshoe bats

The fabulous Almshouses in Moretonhamstead

1 & 2 The Almshouses, Moretonhampstead are owned by the National Trust and are Grade 1 Listed Buildings.

‘After the Parish Church this is the most important building in Moretonhampstead. Its famous facade makes it of national importance. Likely date: c. 1450 with major 1637 additions. Its late medieval origins, with the survival of the smoke-blackened face-pegged jointed cruck roof, make this an outstanding building, with the granite loggia, fireplaces, screens, beams and windows of the 1637 conversion to eight almshouses, it is outstanding.’ For more technical details see here.

Please note there is no public access to either of the cottages as they are rented to private individuals.

During 2015 we will be re-thatching both properties.

Almshouses 3
The Almhouses are on the right hand side of the road when you enter Moretonhampstead from the Dunsford road
Almshouses 2
The entrance space and granite loggia
Almshouses 1
 A classic feature of the village