24/08/2014 - 23:42



There is a wealth of watercourses upon Dartmoor, wooed as they are by their gravitational lure towards the distant sea. Emerging as springs in the high moorland bogs then soon dancing over waterfalls and rapids - the hypnotic sounds that resonate through the hanging valleys, gorges and into the major whitewater rivers below is for me somewhat of a siren call. May be it harks back to many canoe and kayak journeys, that they bestow me a quick sense of connection. The wild rivers provide us with a multi-sensory experience that one can find immersive


For me, there is always that curiosity when I study areas Ordnance Survey map in greater depth… the sudden wonder of some blue vein, amidst tight-knit contour lines… a chance to go out and study possible waterfalls, rapids, crystal clear plunge pools….


One such inspiration lead me to walk one summer’s evening from Scorriton up to Chalk Ford on the River Mardle. It is a rather swift gain of 415ft height in just under 1 ¾ miles. The ford has been replaced with a simple bridge - leading to valley mire, wet woodland & Rhôs pastures upstream and stepped zig-zagging falls into the woodlands on the downstream side. The sun was beginning to set, not long after I arrived and I decided on this first occasion to scramble downstream a way and explore. After a few minutes of considering ideas I crossed the river to see a set of falls from a different aspect, one area had sprung out in particular.





The camera was moved just a metre or so, just as the sun had sunk over the head of the valley. Two further close-up frames (in ‘portrait format’) were created, with the intention of stitching them to make a ‘squarorama’ - as the flow lines here seemed to have something rather graceful about them.




It was a great place to have a brief insight into, one that begs for further exploration both downstream and higher up, beyond the pastures….






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