Chain Gang, Bizarre Pollards & Glorious Views.


Every Year I walk each of the 70+ miles of footpath that crisscross the West Exmoor property, several times in fact. One of my favourite routes is the South West coast path between Wingate wood and Lynmouth about 5 miles. I normally do it alone but seeing as several of the team hadn’t been along this path before I took them with me, kitted out for any eventuality. Daniel on chainsaw, Marcus on pole Saw, Tom on brush cutter and Paul on mattock and rake, sounds like the line up for an obscure band doesn’t it?  Anyway, I picked up my heavy pair of secateurs and off we set. We were soon walking amongst the strange oak pollards in Dr’s Wood with Dan and Marcus pruning back any trees that needed their attention and Tom and Paul strimming back and raking up any bracken and gorse and clearing out water channels. I, in turn, tested each seat we passed for firmness and view quality whilst I waited for the boys to catch me up. Some of the views along this path are quite breathtaking and even after all the years I have been here I really can’t believe how lucky I am to work amongst such splendour.

The light house road came next and the lads seemed to gain their second wind, I let them get ahead of me a bit whilst I checked my Blackberry for important e-mails, my old dog Rosie retraced her steps to keep me company. We eventually caught the boys up in time for lunch in Coddow Combe, on the Foreland, before climbing up to Countisbury Church and then down towards Lynmouth where we had left a vehicle. The day was rounded off by the lads buying me a well deserved pint back at the Hunters inn. Thanks lads, you are all stars!

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