Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Stepping into the Past at Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve

Here we go again, as we just start to think about Spring, the UK is hit by the "Beast from the East". Well there is snow on them there hills of Exmoor and Dartmoor but once again just a snow flurry today where I live near Bideford.

We had lunch at RHS Garden Rosemoor on Sunday hoping to capture a preview of the Snowdrops before their "Snowdrop Trails" start in February, but sadly due to very high winds the garden was closed so we took the opportunity to walk around Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve near Hatherleigh.

Hard to believe this was a working quarry up until 2004. It was purchased by Devon Wildlife Trust in 2012 and opened as a Nature Reserve in 2013. 

The clay pits of the past have flooded creating a series of lakes, ponds and muddy puddles. There are different colour-coded paths around the reserve some of which include access for wheelchairs/mobility scooters. 

The line of trees in the distance is the Tarka Trail which was once a railway line. The Marland narrow gauge locomotive, built in 1883, used to haul the white clay in open wagons as far as Torrington.

Not a lot of wildlife  to report we spotted a Buzzard aloft on the way then a couple of water fowl took off as we arrived at the Glebe.  Took a shot of some hoof prints in the mud up high beside Woolladon Lake, sadly did not to see the Exmoor ponies on this visit. We sat for a while in the freezing wind just taking in the view of the lake glistening in the Winter sun. Happy days.


Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve (DWT) Photo copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus

 Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve (DWT) Photo copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus
Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve (DWT) Photo copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus

Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve (DWT) Photo copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus
Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve (DWT) Photo copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus 
Meeth Quarry DWT nature reserve is on the southern edge of the village of Meeth on the A386 between Hatherleigh and Great Torrington. Follow the access road for half a mile and the car park is on the left. Nearest postcode is EX20 3EP 
"The herd of Exmoor ponies are the unpaid workforce at Meeth Quarry. They work 24 hours a day, seven days a week munching the rank grasses and scrubby shrubs which would otherwise quickly overwhelm the nature reserve's open areas." 

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