Thursday, 17 April 2008

National Trust make Wembury purchase

I have to say that I have a very soft spot for the Wembury area just east of Plymouth. It's not that it is a particularly spectacular part of our peninsular but it is nevertheless truly delightful. Although geographically close to Plymouth it has managed to avoid being enmeshed by that city's spreading tentacles; the fact that it lies in the South Devon AONB, that the National Trust have holdings here and that there is an active amenity society have all helped Wembury to retain its country feel. Yes its lovely little beach gets very crowded at times but a few minutes walk from this mass of humanity and its large car park full of shiny metal gets one into another world.

The "Wembury Peninsular" is bounded on the east side by the River Yealm and Cofflete Creek and its the sylvan west bank of the latter that forms Wembury Wood. The National Trust have just signed a deal to buy part of this wood which I understand will adjoin Hollacombe Wood, happily in the care of the Woodland Trust. This is great news because public access to the wooded banks of these creeks is quite limited. When people talk about the scenery of Devon and Cornwall attention is normally focused on the Moors and the Coast. That's understandable for sure bearing in mind the wonderful views and good walking opportunities they present. But I would like to sing the praises of our drowned river estuaries (or rias) and the deep woods that so often clothe their banks. Ideally viewed from a canoe there are still some examples such as at Lerryn in Cornwall where the rambler can enjoy that combination of trees and water.

Wembury Parish is criss-crossed by a number of paths and of course there is the coast path hugging the shoreline as well. It's always very satisfying to spend a day there.

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