Posts Tagged With: GPSr

Dodman Point, Cornwall

View along the path

View along the path

Dodman Point – GCY2ZB

On the hunt for interesting geocaches around Cornwall’s Roseland Peninsula we came across many regular nano’s and micro’s, however amongst those was this one, Dodman Point. The land is managed by The National Trust, which has been helpful with my research on the area and provided us with a suitable parking place in Penare.

Granite Cross

Granite Cross

Dodman Point is the highest headland on the south coast of Cornwall. (I measured the altitude as 353ft above sea level.) It has awesome views and a great deal of history attached to it. So much so that the headland is popular with archaeologists.

At the cross, 353ft above sea level

At the cross, 353ft above sea level

 

The National Trust page about Dodman Point states that the headland is home to a massive Iron Age earthwork, known as a promontory fort or cliff castle, however on our walk we didn’t see any evidence of this. More history is evident though. After a good half mile walk off in the distance we spotted a huge cross, made of granite and standing high above our heads. It is said that the cross was erected in 1896 by Rev. G Martin as a navigational aid for seafairers. But it failed to save two warships the following year and more recently, the pleasure boat “Darlwin” sank with all passengers on board in 1996.

In the firm hope of the second coming of our Lord JESUS CHRIST and for the encouragment of those who strive to serve HIM this cross is erected A.D 1896

In the firm hope of the second coming of our Lord JESUS CHRIST and for the encouragment of those who strive to serve HIM this cross is erected A.D 1896

All around the Bulwark there remains evidence of the Iron Age strip-field system, some areas have been made into larger fields, but those that remain are now being controlled to preserve them for longer, as the area is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Following the path in the direction of the geocache (I almost forgot I was out geocaching), we came across more history. This time it was an 18th century signal station (or watch house).

“In past centuries, prominent hills and headlands around Britain were equipped with fire beacons to warn of sea-borne raids and invasion. These beacons were the source of the series of fire and smoke that was seen by the Armada along the Cornish coast on 20 July 1588.” (The National Trust)

 

The Watch House

The Watch House

The Royal Navy set up a series of these stations around the coast in response to the war with France in 1795. The stations would communicate through a series of marks on a flagpole and outriggers, they were communciated to and from the ships at sea and between each other. The stations would have been manned 24 hours a day, and at night the signals would have been made by fire and blue light.

At Dodman Point, this watch house is a fine example. The watch tower is still in good condition and has a remaining anchoring shackle for the flagpole. The building itself is only one room and now houses a bench for walkers to rest upon in bad weather. The garden wall also appeared to remain in tact. The Dodman watch house was used by the coast guard during the 19th century, and the flagpole remained until 1957 when it was lost in a storm.

Lookout Tower

Lookout Tower

What a great thing to find while out geocaching. This is one of the many reasons I love the GPS based activity. Especially when people such as Loose Lips Sink Ships place geocaches at sites of historical interest. Oh and I forgot to mention that the geocache is not the only thing we found high up on this headland. We also found our first Waymarker. My next task is to find out more about waymarking and to find out how to log the one we found here.

Waymarker

Waymarker

 

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Chalk and Cheddar – Cozendon Woods

Heading out to Cozendon Woods

Over the past 12 months, geocaching has taken us to many interesting places, with many stories to be told about each one. However today’s story is one of the more interesting ones.

After getting a referral on the Geocaching UK group on Facebook from solesearchers, we followed a trail out to Cozendon wood near Ifield. The hunt for Chalk and Cheddar began. Parking up at the suggested co-ordinates and following the restricted byway out to the woods, hoping that the few spots of rain wouldn’t turn into a large downpour.

Snowdrops in bloom

Bluebell carpet

 

 

 

 

We thought this would be a normal afternoon stroll in the woods and for the most part it was. We followed the footpath into the tree line and were soon marveling at nature’s garden. Gorgeous snowdrops and scented bluebells carpeted the ground, the beautiful architecture of the century old trees, many still standing yet there were many others that had come crashing to the ground. Leaving natural sculptures in their wake. These woods were quickly becoming a calm and serene place to wander.

Resting in the bivouac

As we were using my garmin oregon 450 to navigate (using the map), we took a path to our left when we really needed to have taken the path straight ahead. If we had have taken that path then I don’t believe we would have seen the man made bivouac just to the right of the footpath.

Further along this path we looked on in awe at the wonderfully different ways the roots on the trees had formed. Some root formations had widened so far that they had split and created two trees, others had gaping holes right through them creating mini

Ivy roots wrapped around a fallen tree

bridges. One of the fallen trees had once had creeping ivy wrapped around its trunk and resembled a python hugging its prey.

After having walked this path for more than ten minutes, I took another look at the GPSr map and noticed that the little blue pointer attached to the pink line with the blue dot on the end was in direct line of the part one co-ordinates! At the same time Smif247 pointed out that we would need to change direction and head west to reach our first goal.

This was where we discovered that others had cut through here too. There were definitely recent tracks through the undergrowth, watching our steps

Is this a washing line?

and being incredibly careful not to damage any of the foliage, we headed westwards towards the plotted co-ords.

This was when things began feeling a little odd! We came across a large clearing, well off the path, and most definitely recently used as some sort of camp.

A thin rope was tied between a couple of trees with energy drink cans attached to it. On the right hand tree, someone had hung a saw up using the same rope as the make shift “washing line.” This saw however was incredibly weathered and covered in rust.

About 20 foot away someone had begun to build a shelter and had a bonfire

The framework of a shelter and the other saw to the right of the picture.

circle just in front of it. To the right of that there was another saw embedded into a nearby tree. This one was in much better condition than the last and looked as though it may have been used not too long ago.

We begun to turn ourselves towards the direction of stage one, when we found an upturned wheelbarrow, blackened from wood smoke and flames, residing by a smoldering tree root.

The smoldering tree root

Why on earth was there a smoldering tree root? This wasn’t a small one either, and most certainly being kept under control as the greenery within its perimeter was pretty much damage free. We came to the conclusion that the wheelbarrow was being used to control the flames. Someone, it would seem, was living out here in the woods, because that tree root would only need some extra tinder & logs to re-light the flames. Not only that, someone had even piled some good sized fallen logs nearby, which looked ideal for creating a new fire near the part built shelter. Hence keeping the root smoldering perhaps.

This was when I began to feel a little jittery, and strangely like we may have

Stage 2

been getting watched. I wasn’t the only one, Cadence was also getting agitated and bought us back to the task in hand.

Turns out we were only about 150 feet from part one. We departed the camp quickly and came across our prize fairly soon. Despite me going round in circles waiting for the compass to catch up and point me in the right direction. Smif247 on the other hand had already found the container with the new co-ords and was already programming them into the Groundspeak app on his phone.

Cadence was the first one to GZ

Still feeling a little jittery after finding the camp, we hastened up the footpath towards stage two, still discussing the unusual find. It wasn’t long before we found where we needed to go and Cadence was the first one sliding down to ground zero. We didn’t need to borrow the tool from stage one, which saved us the walk back, as we always carry at least one with us in our tool kit.

While I was more intrigued by the chalk formation and snapping photographs, Smif247 and Cadence were busying themselves with the final geocache. Investigating the contents and signing the log book.

We spent quite a bit of time down there investigating the cut out “rooms”

Brick work chalk

under the beautiful woods above. At some point in the past someone had actually cut through the chalk from one “room” to another. Just the right size for a small child to crawl through. The way the chalk sat together looked like brick work. I’ve never seen anything like it before and am so glad that solesearchers had found this spot and left a cache there so that others could also see nature at work.

Easy tree climb

After replacing the cache and scrambling back to ground level we found the well used bridal way and headed back towards our point of entry. We were back to marveling nature at work, me snapping pictures, Cadence climbing fallen trees and Smif247 pointing out the man made mud ramps along the path and the random trials bike wing mirror casing.

When we reached the bivouac we decided to investigate this area further. The people who built this, also had a stash of firewood close by and a fire circle behind their shelter. Not too far from this we noticed that someone had spray painted arrows and dots on trees along a route, so we followed this and came across a large tree that had a ladder built on to it and the starting frame for a tree house.

Not only that, there appeared to be many “hiding” places all over the woods.

The beginnings of a tree house

Most were reminiscent of geocache hides using stick-o-flage. All of the ones we looked at were empty though.

I would highly recommend that geocachers and muggles alike come to these woods, not only for the natural beauty but because there seemed to be so much to discover here. One of the best afternoons I’ve ever had.

 

by Luminesence

 

Cadence and Smif247 underground

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