The Dart in January

It was a mild and sunny January day yesterday and it reminded me of some photos I took of the River Dart, up from New Bridge in the National Trust’s Holne Woods back in 2014. I haven’t published these before – I quite like them as it captures one¬†the finest rivers in England in a good light. So here they are. Hope you like them as much as I do.

Dart 1

Dart 3

Dart 4

Dart 6

Dart 8




The River Dart in Hembury Woods

Hembury Woods to the north of Buckfast in the Dart Valley is a magical place – it is an ancient woodland over 350 acres in extent and is home to some of our most quintessential Dartmoor species. It is one of the jewels in the National Trust’s crown. I was there earlier this week with our Lead Ranger Mick Jones to discuss how we might go about repairing the damage to the river path which has been caused by the recent floods and high visitor usage.

Here are a few pictures from the day.

Hembury 1The River Dart

Hembury 2A sharp shower mottles the river’s surface

Hembury 3One of the little waterfalls

Hembury 4Betony is in flower at the moment

Hembury 5Honeysuckle – so important for the resident dormice

Hembury 6The entrance to the main car park halfway up the hill

The Dart in full flood

The River Dart looked pretty impressive yesterday. Here are a couple of videos and some pictures taken from the National Trust’s woodland Holne Wood at New Bridge.

River Dart – upstream from New Bridge

River Dart downstream from New Bridge

Dart in Holne WoodsSome pretty big waves

Dart in Holne Woods 2The River from Holne Woods

Dart 1Here’s the same spot in January (minus a spate)

Dart in Holne Woods 3There’s a lot of water going down the river

West DartHere’s the West Dart at Two Bridges – can’t remember the last time I saw it this full

I managed to fall in the Dart today

We have been out 10 Tors training this weekend (update tomorrow). Part of the day involved having a look at the stepping stones just above Dartmeet.

Originally we had intended to send our groups over them on their way up to Combestone Tor – I am mighty glad we didn’t! The stepping stones are in a terrible state – I am assuming they have been damaged in the recent floods / storms. The river wasn’t at all high today but nevertheless many of the stones were partially submerged.

Either way I decided to cross just to see how difficult it was. It was difficult and as a result I ended up in the Dart up to my waist. My companions obviously thought this was the highlight of the weekend. Indeed Tony went across the stones to be photographed to show the spot where I fell in.

Dartmeet and Tony


Tony marks the spot!

So beware 0f the Dartmeet stepping stones РI reckon with an  average 10 Tors groups 50% will end up in the river. With a timid group either none will try or all will end up wet. Better to bimble around to Huccaby Steps.

Fortunately no photographs exist of me in the river.