Since South West Water’s “temporary usage ban” has been extended across the River Tamar to much of North and West Devon we’re extending our coverage of the drought too.
This week’s Environment Agency rainfall summary hasn’t been published yet, but I can assure you that the weather’s been warm and dry. Here’s a distant picture I took of our local Crowdy Reservoir on Sunday 21st May :
Davidstow Moor has dried out, and the water level in the reservoir has started to decline. Here’s the South West Lakes Trust’s report of water levels in Cornwall on the 21st. It also includes Roadford Lake, the largest reservoir in Devon:
I spoke to Graham Skinner at the Davidstow Flying Club earlier this evening, in the middle of a hailstorm. Graham has promised to send me much more detailed information on this incident, but for now here is my initial investigation into the recent arson attack on one of the flying club’s hangars and the aircraft inside it:
’Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm”
[Edit – February 26th]
Graham has sent me some of the Flying Club’s photographs of the damage caused by the arson attack. Here’s what used to be a secure shelter for some microlights:
and here are all that’s left of two of the club’s microlight aircraft:
As Graham put it in his email to me:
The fires made holes in the hangar roof and then the recent extremely high winds destroyed that hangar. The club over time had spent several thousands of pounds on it. Now in ruins.
Very sad times for Davidstow Flying Club, but we are such a strong enthusiastic group this will NOT deter us from pursuing our love of aviation.
I have also been informed that subsequently a twin axle Ifor Williams trailer was stolen from the damaged hangar. Here’s a picture of it:
It seems that it has been seen in the Camelford area since the theft. Whilst such trailers are not uncommon around here this one is obviously not in factory fresh condition, and hence has some identifying characteristics.
On my habitual Covid-19 lockdown permitted cycle ride across Davidstow Moor earlier today I glanced in the direction of Roughtor and noticed something strange. I cycled across the moor, parked my bike by the fence, hopped over the stile and walked to the edge of Crowdy reservoir.
Here is what I discovered:
The part of Crowdy Marsh I crossed wasn’t marshy. What’s more the water level in the reservoir seemed very low for the time of year, particularly given the winter we’ve just experienced!
News has reached us via the What’s On in Camelford Facebook page of another big blaze on Bodmin Moor.
Emma Williams has a good view of the Moor from her garden, and reports this morning:
Another fire been started at the same place near Roughtor absolutely ridiculous! They are putting people’s lives at risk as if the fire service doesn’t have enough to deal with!
Graeme and I had just gone out into our front garden to let the dog out when we noticed it and phoned it in at 12.20 AM. There were cars up on Davidstow Moor. I cannot understand why anyone would be driving around there at that time, and when the blue lights appeared they turned their headlights off.
It was small when we first saw it but within 5 – 10 minutes it had got to the size of what you see in the first photo and then kept spreading. Which is why we were suspicious that it hadn’t long been started due to the speed it spread.
Thanks very much to Emma for these pictures of the fire and its aftermath:
P.S. After a bike ride up on to Davidstow Moor, here are my own images of the two big blackened bits of Bodmin Moor: