Report on the Clitters and Lynher Valley walk

We have Gill Nichols to thank for this account of the walk on Sunday 13th April.

Please send your photographs to Brian to include with this report at 320 pixel size.

A walk with a difference

Tom ExplainsA blustery morning of sunshine and showers found us meeting at Plusha. Our guide for the morning was Tom Payne, a very knowledgeable amateur historian We set off toward the moor to seek out a Bronze Age stone circle known as "Nine Stones" and other evidence of settlement - a bit of a departure from the usual flora/fauna search.

The Fox Tor area shows evidence of a long boundary system which is unusual for Bodmin moor, more common on Dartmoor. Dwellings were always separate from their ritual monuments - nobody really knows to what purpose these monuments were put, all is conjecture.

Iron Age Huts  reconstruction, Trewortha
Around 1500 BC there were permanent settlements with a milder climate than now but around 1000 BC the weather deteriorated and the high moors were only used for summer pastures. The valleys would have been full of trees which evidence shows were used for making their roundhouses, but as these diminished, stones were used leaving us more permanent evidence. The reconstructed Huts at Trewortha (photo by Joy) would give an idea of what the dwellings would look like 



Starwort at NinestonesWater Crowfoot at Nine StonesNine Stones was "improved" by the Vicar of North Hill in the late 1800"s - he rather fancied a stone in the middle of the circle, which at least makes it unique! Mary noticed starwort water-crowfoot (left) growing happily in puddles around the stones.

On the way to Clitters Cairn about a dozen golden plover were spotted, all beautiful in their breeding plumage - they didn"t seem bothered by our appearance but kept a safe distance, just in case. This ancient burial chamber had been plundered at some time but as Tom pointed out, valuables were rarely put with the body, usually around the edge, so we might have been standing on some amazing artefact.
It was at this point I learnt about "travel bugs" from Brian"s son, Mike - the concept of secreting away a modern artefact in defined remote locations with your identification, picking up someone else"s and letting them know through the www how their "bug" is progressing around the world - fascinating!

Brian was then on his knees with spy-glass in hand looking at a fruiting Cladonia (lichen), photographed by Sue - that was a first for me.Photographing Lichen At Clitters Cairn

Then we descended to the wooded slopes leaving our ancient ancestors in peace, to search for Naomi"s stone, whoever she was - and under a very dead, fallen tree there it stood depicting someone"s sorrow.

Some excellent bracket fungi spotted - phellinus igniarius

On to the river Lynher and a sublimely quiet spot where out came Brian"s pond dipping net - nymphs of stonefly and mayfly were identified and a bullhead fish, along with Mary"s find of a song-thrush"s eggshell.

Then back to find our vehicles - once again, a thoroughly enjoyable, informative morning. Thank you Brian and Tom.


Climbing the wet Moorland   Tony digs deep in the mud
Exploring a peat drying platform   On a Bronze Age boundary Wall
Tom continues his helpful explanations   Brenda takes Note




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