Mud, Glorious Mud!

Words by Cherry Bird, photos from Sue Hay.

A walk from Clatworthy Reservoir in January after several days of heavy rain was always likely to be muddy, and it was, big time! Ten miles felt like a lot more by the end, as we hopped, skipped and squelched our way up to the top of the Brendon hills, through winter woodland with beautiful tree shapes, along paths that had become streams and across fields where there was little evidence of grass. Still, we all managed to stay upright and avoid our boots being sucked off, and it didn’t rain in any serious way, so it was a good day out. We had lunch in the shelter of the old engine house, a remnant of Victorian mining days, walking along the now dismantled mineral line that once transported iron ore down to Watchet. Passing by the source of the River Tone (Beverton Pond, more mud) we visited the Naked Boy Stone and Dun’s Stone, natural extrusions of underlying quartz-type rock over a metre in height and thought to be medieval boundary stones. No-one knows the origin of the Naked Boy bit, so we could only speculate about possible medieval rituals as we slithered back down to the reservoir, which looked peaceful and beautiful in the late afternoon light.

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