Burrator Arboretum - Deancombe Valley - Combshead

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Arboretum – Deancombe Drift Track – Deancombe Farm – Cuckoo Rock - Combeshead Farm and Potato Cave – Narrator Brook – Contraband Cave – Upper Deancombe Tin Mining – Plantation - Arboretum

The Deancombe Valley north of Burrator is steeped in history and the relatively sheltered location made it one of the few areas away from the moorland fringe where farming was both possible and profitable. Records dating back to the 10th Century show that farming was actively carried out there for over 1,000 years and the last farm was worked there up until the mid-1930s, when farming in the area ceased. Why did it end? It is thought that the advent of local tin mining led to many of the farming areas in the higher and lower reaches of the Deancombe Valley being taken over by surface mining activities, to the detriment of the farming. As you walk up the valley you will see plenty of evidence of the gerts (cuttings caused by miners) and in the higher reaches huge areas of the moor were worked for tin. The arboretum is a relatively new initiative on Dartmoor, when the flatter reaches of the Deancombe Valley were re-forested with a variety of trees and a maze of paths and ponds designed to provide an easy walking area on Dartmoor, close to the popular tourist spot of Burrator.

Dartmoor National Park cites the arboretum as an area where handicapped people can enjoy the countryside around them with flat, wheelchair-friendly paths. As indicated, there is a maze of paths in the arboretum for people to enjoy on reasonable flat and level surfaces with good bridges over the Deancombe / Narrator Brook which runs down through the valley. The maze of paths can make navigation difficult, but it all adds to the fun as you may find out! This walk, which starts at the arboretum car park, introduces you to some of the many paths in it before leading you up the valley past a couple of the really old farms there and on up to explore the mine workings at the higher reaches of the valley. You then return along the south side, fringing the lower reaches of Yellowmead Down with Sheepstor high above you, before returning through the arboretum once again to the end point of the walk.

England - South West England - Devon - Dartmoor

Features

Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Moor, Woodland

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