Camelford to Watergate

A circular walk from Camelford through bluebell woods along the Camel valley to the Celtic churchyard of Advent and the Neolithic remains on the edge of Bodmin Moor.

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The walk starts at the old market town of Camelford and follows the river Camel through woodland and climbs through fields to Advent Church on the edge of Bodmin Moor. The route then circles through Watergate, with its Neolithic hut circles, and Moorgate where there is a large standing stone. The route joins Roughtor Road at Tregoodwell, with excellent views of Roughtor, before returning to Camelford.

Considerations

  • Can get quite boggy and slippery after prolonged wet weather.

Reviews

Did Camelford to Watergate yesterday, lovely walk, want to go back and do it again today
Enjoyed the walk today from Camelford to Watergate!
My husband and I enjoyed your walk from Camelford to Watergate last Monday, the scenery was very pleasant and the bluebell wood was stunning. Thank you for a most enjoyable day and we will no doubt enjoy more of your walks.
An enjoyable 5 mile walk, the Camelford to Watergate walk covers all kinds of scenery, the banks of the lovely river Camel, woodland, farmland and the glorious views looking over towards Delabole, with a lonely visit to Advent church.

Vital statistics

  • OS Explorer: 109
  • Distance: 5 miles/8.1 km
  • Steepness grade: Easy-moderate
  • Recommended footwear: waterproof walking boots; wellies or equivalent when the ground is really wet

OS maps for this walk

Click or tap on map for more info (blue=laminated)

Highlights

  • The old market town of Camelford
  • Pretty riverside scenery along the River Camel
  • Ancient bluebell woodland near Fenteroon
  • Advent church and its ancient Celtic churchyard
  • Prehistoric cairns and Long Stone at Moorgate
  • Nice views of Roughtor from the footpaths to Tregoodwell

Pubs on or near the route

  • The Darlington Inn
  • The Masons Arms

Directions

  1. From the car park, turn right onto Market Place, towards the main village. Cross the road at the traffic lights so that you are on the same side of the road as the Mason's Arms. Continue up the street until you reach the alleyway marked "Riverside walk" immediately before the Needle and Thread shop.

    Camelford is a market town on the edge of Bodmin Moor. Camelford gained its status as a town in 1259 after being granted its first Charter by King Henry III. In the town centre, the library was once the Town Hall; the cobbled area that it stands in used to be the market square. Camelford Town hall was erected in 1806 over the Market House, where in the early 1800s, a wife could be bought for 2-3 shillings!

    More about wife selling in Cornwall.

  2. Turn left down the alleyway marked "Riverside walk" and follow the footpath along the river, crossing via the footbridges partway along. Continue along the river until it goes under the road at Fenteroon Bridge and the path emerges on the road beside an iron railing.

    The River Camel runs for 30 miles from Bodmin Moor to Padstow Bay, making it the longest river in Cornwall after the Tamar.

    The name "Cam-El" is from the Cornish meaning "crooked one". It is documented that only the upper reaches of the river, above Boscarne, were originally known as the "Camel". The section from Boscarne to Egloshayle was known as the "Allen" and below this, it was known as "Heyl".

  3. Cross onto the lane and turn right, following the lane uphill for 100 metres and around the bend to a footpath in the second gateway on the left, opposite Fenteroon Farm.

    In spring, the woods either side of the lane are carpeted in wild garlic.

    Wild garlic has been found in settlements dating as far back as the neolithic period which given its springtime abundance and aroma is not that surprising. Its culinary use was eventually overtaken by domesticated garlic which first arrived with Mediterranean traders and had the advantage that the bulbs could be stored for relatively long periods.

    The settlement of Fenteroon is likely to date from early mediaeval times and records have been found as far back as the 13th Century. The name is from the Cornish word fenten meaning "spring". The name today would strongly suggest an overall meaning of "moorland spring" but in 1292 it was recorded as Fentenwenweht which makes this less certain. The current house is thought to date from the 19th Century and is depicted on the 1st edition OS map from the 1880s

  4. Go through the pedestrian gate on the left of the farm gate and follow the path along the fence to reach a waymarked stile.

    Buttercups produce a toxin called protoanemonin, which is at its highest concentration when flowering. It is thought that buttercups may be partly responsible for Equine Grass Sickness. Fortunately the toxin is quite unstable and drying of the plant in haymaking leads to polymerisation into non-toxic anemonin. Buttercups are also toxic to dogs, cats and humans. They have a bitter taste which puts dogs off eating the plants but pollen can collect on fur and be ingested, particularly by cats when they clean themselves. A man in France who drank a glass of juice made from buttercups suffered severe colic after four hours and was dead the next day!

  5. Cross the stile and continue between the fences to a stile into the woods.

    Electric fences are typically powered from a low voltage source such as a car battery which charges a capacitor to release a periodic pulse of high voltage electricity. This is often audible as a quiet "crack" which is a good indicator that a fence is powered. As with the high-voltage shock caused by static electricity, the current is not high enough to cause serious injury but touching an electric fence is nevertheless unpleasant. If you are answering the call of nature in the vicinity of an electric fence, be mindful of the conductivity of electrolyte solutions!

  6. Cross the stile and follow the path through the woods until the path forks.

    In early spring, the ancient woodland here has an impressive display of bluebells.

    When photographing bluebells, the flowers that look blue to your eye can end up looking purple in photos.

    The first thing to check is that your camera isn't on auto white balance as the large amount of blue will cause the camera to shift the white balance towards reds to try to compensate.

    Another thing to watch out for is that the camera's light metering will often over-expose the blue slightly to get a reasonable amount of red and green light and the "lost blue" can change the balance of the colours. You can get around this by deliberately under-exposing the photo (and checking there is no clipping if your camera has a histogram display) and then brightening it afterwards with editing software.

    Fungi are often most noticeable when fruiting, either as mushrooms or as moulds but their main part is a network made up of thin branching threads that can run through soil, leaf litter, wood and even living plant tissue.

  7. Keep right at the fork and follow it past a stone stile until the path descends from a wall onto a track, next to a large tree, and opposite a granite gate post.

    The fruit of the beech tree is known as "mast" or, less cryptically, "beechnuts" and these are not produced until the tree is 40-60 years old. The small triangular nuts are encased in spiky husks which split and drop from the trees from late August to early October. The kernels of these are edible and are similar to hazelnuts. They were once used as a source of flour, which was ground after the tannins had been leached out by soaking them in water. If you find them too bitter, you might want to try this trick, although toasting them in a hot pan is also a good option.

  8. Turn left past the granite gatepost and follow the path, in a gentle arc to the left across the meadow, to a footbridge crossing the river.

    The River Camel runs for 30 miles from Bodmin Moor to Padstow Bay, making it the longest river in Cornwall after the Tamar.

    The River Camel has been fished for salmon and sea trout for centuries and the first royal charter was granted in 1199. In 1750, there are records of rights available on payment of a fee to the Duke of Cornwall to take salmon by use of barbed spears. Needless to say, these rights have now been revoked although even as recently as the 1980s, there are stories of salmon poachers with barbed garden forks beneath bridges along the Camel.

    Salmon fishing is still popular and there is a salmon hatchery, where locally-caught salmon are bred. The resulting eggs are hatched and grown for a year in a protected environment before being released to boost the wild salmon population in the River Camel and Fowey.

  9. Cross the footbridge and follow the path to the right along the fence for a short distance. Then bear left up the steep hill beside the bushes to reach a waymarked pedestrian gate in a fence.

    Salmon spawn in winter in the tributary streams of rivers, where the gravel is suitable. The young fish (known as "parr") grow by feeding on aquatic insects for one to three years. They then undergo a physiological preadaptation to life in seawater known as "smolting". In spring, large numbers of "smolts" swim downriver and migrate to the rich feeding grounds of the Norwegian Sea where they feed on fish such as herring and sandeels.

    Salmon exhibit remarkable homing instinct, locating their river of origin using the earth's magnetic field and smell which includes pheromones released by other salmon in the river. Some salmon reach maturity after only one year at sea; these are known as "grise" and return in summer, weighing between 1 and 4kg. Larger fish, that take two or more years at sea to mature, usually return considerably earlier in the year.

    Salmon cease to feed on entering freshwater and having spawned, the fish (referred to as "kelts") are susceptible to disease and predators. However some do survive to repeat their epic journey again and there are records of some salmon spawning three times.

  10. Go through the gate and follow the right hedge to a stile.

    The number of cows in Cornwall has been estimated at around 75,000 (a lot of moo is needed for the cheese and clotted cream produced in Cornwall) so there's a good chance of encountering some in grassy fields.

    The Ramblers Association and National Farmers Union suggest some "dos and don'ts" for walkers which we've collated with some info from the local Countryside Access Team.

    Do

    • Stop, look and listen on entering a field. Look out for any animals and watch how they are behaving, particularly bulls or cows with calves
    • Be prepared for farm animals to react to your presence, especially if you have a dog with you.
    • Try to avoid getting between cows and their calves.
    • Move quickly and quietly, and if possible walk around the herd.
    • Keep your dog close and under effective control on a lead around cows and sheep.
    • Remember to close gates behind you when walking through fields containing livestock.
    • If you and your dog feel threatened, work your way to the field boundary and quietly make your way to safety.
    • Report any dangerous incidents to the Cornwall Council Countryside Access Team - phone 0300 1234 202 for emergencies or for non-emergencies use the iWalk Cornwall app to report a footpath issue (via the menu next to the direction on the directions screen).

    Don't

    • If you are threatened by cattle, don't hang onto your dog: let it go to allow the dog to run to safety.
    • Don't put yourself at risk. Find another way around the cattle and rejoin the footpath as soon as possible.
    • Don't panic or run. Most cattle will stop before they reach you. If they follow, just walk on quietly.
  11. Cross the stile and turn right onto the lane. Follow this just past the Trethin entrance, to a stile on the left.

    Trethin was first recorded in 1337 as Treythian. It is thought to be based on a personal name, i.e. "Thian's farm". The farmhouse there now is largely 17th Century with some features added in the Georgian period.

  12. Cross the stile and follow the path to the opposite corner of the meadow to reach a stile.

    The stiles in Cornwall that consist of rectangular bars of granite resembling a cattle grid are known as "coffen" (coffin) stiles. These often occur on footpaths leading to churches such the Zennor Churchway. The mini cattle grids are fairly effective at containing livestock and were significantly easier for coffin-bearers to navigate than stiles crossing walls. They are more frequently found in West Cornwall but there are a few in East Cornwall too such as either side of Advent Church.

  13. Cross the stile into the next field. Head uphill towards the church, to a stile slightly left of the church.

    The church ahead is Advent (St Adwenna's) church.

    Advent (St Adwenna's) Church is located in the parish of Advent on the north-west edge of Bodmin Moor, near Camelford. The church is dedicated to Adwen, one of the children of the legendary 5th Century Celtic king Brychan. It is notable for its high, eight-pinnacled tower which houses a ring of six bells. The church building you see today at Advent is mostly mediaeval with some Norman remnants - the greater part of the building dates from the 15th century. The interior was rebuilt when a snowstorm brought the roof down in Victorian times. The circular shape of the graveyard at Advent church suggests it dates back to Celtic times.

  14. Cross the stile and enter the churchyard. Follow the path around the church, then turn left, passing the church entrance, and cross the grass to a gate into a field.

    There is a huge wayside cross in the field on the other side of the road on the right.

    Tresinney Cross is a round-headed wayside cross in the parish of Advent. The cross is over 8ft high and has stood since Norman times beside the ancient path to Advent church.

  15. Go through the gate and cross the stile into the field. Cross the field aiming for a stile 20m to the left of the two buildings on the opposite side of the field.

    Brychan was a legendary Celtic king (originally born in Ireland) who ruled over Breconshire in South Wales and was viewed as the father of the Celtic saints.

    Several mediaeval manuscripts state that he was married three times but the numbers of children vary from 12 to 63 with 24 being the most commonly reported number. There is also little agreement in the lists of names between Cornish and Welsh manuscripts. It is through that the list of his children may have grown over time as more people claimed themselves or their local saint to be descended from what was seen as the holy family.

  16. Cross the sequence of 3 stiles to enter the next field, and head straight across to another stile in the fence opposite.

    Whereas many plants rely mainly on bitter chemicals to avoid being eaten by herbivores, thistles have gone one step further and evolved spikes. Despite this, the plants are still eaten by the caterpillars of the Painted Lady butterfly as they are rich in nutrients. The non-spiky areas of the plant such as the stem and leaf ribs can be eaten (with extreme care to avoid ingesting any harmful spikes) by people too: the ribs from the middle of the leaves are still harvested and sold in markets in some parts of the world. The flowers are rich in nectar and provide an important food source for bees and butterflies.

    The number of cows in Cornwall has been estimated at around 75,000 (a lot of moo is needed for the cheese and clotted cream produced in Cornwall) so there's a good chance of encountering some in grassy fields.

    A group of grazing animals known as "ruminants" (which includes cows) have evolved a "pre-stomach" called a rumen where microbes break down cellulose into digestible materials. These microbes produce methane as a by-product. Cows emit around 250 to 500 litres of methane per day but contrary to urban myths, the vast majority is by burping rather than from the other end.

  17. Cross the stile and head across the field to a stile in the far right corner.

    Until 2005 it was thought that grasses evolved around 10 million years after the dinosaurs became extinct, based on the earliest fossil of a grass-like plant. Consequently the BBC went to great effort to find filming locations with no grass for its ground-breaking computer animation series "Walking with Dinosaurs". Since then, fragments of a grass plant related to rice and bamboo have been found in fossilised dinosaur dung. Also the fossil remains of a rodent-like creature which appears to have grass-eating adaptations suggests that grasses could have been around as far back as 120 million years ago.

  18. Cross the stile and follow the right hedge of the next field to a stile, roughly three quarters of the way along the hedge.

    The flowers of the hawthorn are known as "May Blossom" and were traditionally used as decorations in May Day celebrations. Now, however, the hawthorn generally doesn't flower until the middle of May. The reason for this is that May has moved! Until 1752, Britain used the Julian Calendar which had leap years every 4 years but no other corrections. This results in a length of day that is fractionally too long, so the first of May gradually slipped forwards over the centuries. By the 1700s, the first of May was 11 days ahead of where it is today.

  19. Cross the sequence of stiles and bear left uphill towards the corner on the opposite side of the field. Continue past the gate to the stile in the far hedge.

    The cluster of wind turbines behind you is Delabole wind farm.

    The Delabole wind farm was the first commercial wind farm in the UK, built in 1991 partly due to local opposition to a proposed nuclear power station which would have been somewhat suboptimal for the tourism on which Cornwall depends. In the 20 years since the Delabole wind farm was first built, the technology improved significantly. In 2011, the 10 original turbines were replaced with just 4 new models which are significantly more powerful and efficient. The cabling for the turbines is all underground and there are no access roads which allows the land beneath the turbines to be farmed.

  20. Cross the stile onto a lane and turn left. Follow the lane for approx half a mile to Watergate, past a white cottage on the left, to a footpath just before the road ends in a junction.

    From the lane, there are excellent views over Roughtor to the right.

    Rough Tor is the second highest peak on Bodmin Moor. It is pronounced "row-tor" because the local dialect word "row" meant "rough". The summit of Rough Tor is encircled by a series of rough Neolithic stone walls which link natural outcrops, to form a tor enclosure. Also on the summit are the foundations of a mediaeval chapel, built into the side of one of the larger cairns.

    Where the lane dips downhill to a farm, if you look over the left hedge you should be able to see a number of hut circles. Just past the farm, there appears to be the remains of a mediaeval field system, consisting of strips surrounded by stony ridges.

  21. Turn left onto a short grassy path just before the iron railings of the bridge. Follow the path over a stone stile into a meadow. Follow the granite flagstones through a gap in a wall until you reach a gap in a second wall.

    The low stone walls remaining as hut circles were once the foundations of a round house. The granite foundations were likely to have been set into cob (mud and straw) walls which provided insulation and draft exclusion over bare-stone walls. A conical thatched roof on a timber frame rested on top of the walls. Heating was via a central fire which required some care with the thatched roof - presumably roof fires were not unheard of! These buildings varied in size from a just over a metre in diameter up to 10 metres. Some had walled enclosures attached and a few also had internal partitions.

  22. Go through the gap and continue straight ahead, following the stream towards some large conifers in the bottom-right corner of the field.

    The stream collects the overflow water from Crowdy reservoir, more so when the reservoir is full during the wetter months, and joins the streams running off this side of Roughtor.

    In 1988 at the water treatment works at Crowdy Reservoir, aluminium sulphate (which is used in very small quantities to remove suspended particles as part of the water treatment process) was accidentally poured from a tanker into the wrong hatch. Rather than going into a storage tank it went directly into the drinking water for 20,000 - 30,000 people and resulted in Britain's worst mass poisoning incident. One the contamination was discovered, the water supply was flushed into rivers feeding into the River Camel which resulting in the deaths of 60,000 salmon and trout. Fortunately the fish population has recovered since then and the Camel river system now has very good water quality and fish stocks.

  23. As you approach the corner of the field, bear left around the gorse bushes then right until you reach a stile at the bottom of the far hedge.

    Gorse is present as two species (Common Gorse and Western Gorse) along the Atlantic coast. Between the species, some gorse is almost always in flower, hence the old country phrases: "when gorse is out of blossom, kissing's out of fashion" (which is recorded from the mid-19th century) and "when the furze is in bloom, my love's in tune" (which dates from the mid-18th century).

  24. Cross the sequence of 3 stiles and head along the right hedge, aiming for a stile in the fence about 50 metres to the left of a clump of trees in the bottom-right corner of the field.

    If there are sheep in the field and you have a dog, make sure it's securely on its lead (sheep are prone to panic and injuring themselves even if a dog is just being inquisitive). If the sheep start bleating, this means they are scared and they are liable to panic.

    If there are pregnant sheep in the field, be particularly sensitive as a scare can cause a miscarriage. If there are sheep in the field with lambs, avoid approaching them closely, making loud noises or walking between a lamb and its mother, as you may provoke the mother to defend her young.

    Sheep may look cute but if provoked they can cause serious injury (hence the verb "to ram"). Generally, the best plan is to walk quietly along the hedges and they will move away or ignore you.

  25. Cross the stile and cross over the bank. Follow the trench leading ahead until you are past the solid area of reeds on the left. Then bear left across the field towards the tall trees in the far hedge. As the farm buildings become visible, head for a kissing gate, just to the right of the metal farm gates.

    In the field to the left is an 8ft tall megalith known simply as "Long Stone".

    Large upright standing stones are known as menhirs due to the Celtic words men meaning stone and hir meaning long. The reason for their construction is unknown; currently the most popular theories are ceremonial. Excavations at some of the menhir sites in Cornwall have found evidence of postholes and pits, and areas of quartz paving. Also beneath some of the stones, charcoal and cremated human bone have been found.

    These charcoal deposits have been radiocarbon dated and found to be between the Late Neolithic and Middle Bronze Age and, until recently, menhirs were thought to associated principally with the Beaker people who inhabited Europe during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze age (4-5 thousand years ago). Some recent research has suggested an older origin (perhaps 6-7 thousand years ago, at the very start of the Neolithic period in Britain). There is also evidence that some stones continued to be erected, or re-used, much later in the post-Roman "Dark Ages" (early mediaeval) period when some were also inscribed.

    The remains of the 3 ring cairns in this field are possibly related to "Long Stone" and served together in some kind of calendric function.

  26. Go through the kissing gate and cross the lane to Moorgate Farm. Go through the gates and follow along the wall on the left to a stile beside a gateway to the left of the barn.

    The settlement of Moorgate is relatively recent indicated by its English name reflecting the position next to the open moor and was first recorded in 1748.

  27. Cross the stile (or go through the gateway if open) and head towards the opposite corner of the field, to a stile.

    The tree-lined valley ahead is that of the River Camel and the hill ahead is Condolden Hill on top of which is a large burial mound.

    The location, overlooking Tintagel, and massive proportions of Condolden Barrow suggests that a figure of considerable importance is buried here. Thomas Hardy presented it as the final resting place of Queen Isolde in his play, The Famous Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall, about a pair of doomed lovers, Tristan and Isolde, who were much like Lancelot and Guinevere.

    Many scholars believe that the barrow is the burial place of Cador, the sixth century king of Cornwall. In the 12th century poem The Dream of Rhonabwy, Cador is described as one of Arthur's knights and is said to have led the British warriors in their rout of the West Saxon army at the Siege of Mount Badon. Cador is also mentioned in Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain as Arthur's sword bearer at his coronation and a caretaker of Guinevere.

  28. Cross the stile and walk along the wall to cross a second stile into a field. Head straight across the field to another stile, in the hedge opposite.

    The fields here have been grazed over a long period and a range of "weeds" such as ribwort plantain and clover grow amongst the grass and provide nectar for bees.

    There is an urban myth that according to aerodynamics, bumblebees should not be able to fly, leading to statements by US presidential candidates such as:

    It's scientifically impossible for the bumblebee to fly; but the bumblebee, being unaware of these scientific facts, flies anyway.

    You may not be too surprised to discover this assertion was based on flawed calculations in the early 20th Century that neglected to include the bees flapping their wings!

    An acre is a unit of area dating back to mediaeval times, based on the amount of land that could be ploughed with a yoke of oxen in one day. It was standardised in 1824 as a rectangle of 4 rods (66 feet) by one furlong (660 feet). The 10:1 "letterbox" aspect ratio comes from the long, thin field shapes in mediaeval times to minimise the awkward process of turning the oxen around. In fact the name "furlong" comes from the Old English for "one furrow long". The acre has since lost its prescribed shape and now just means 43,560 square feet.

  29. Cross the stile and keep to the left hedge of the next field, heading for the gate.
  30. Go through the gate and cross the field to the wooden gate opposite. Go through this and continue along the left side of the field to a metal gate leading onto a stony track.

    Water pepper, as the name implies, grows on wet ground such as on the margins of lakes. The plant has a number of common names including "smartarse". As Emma Gunn points out in her foraging book "Never Mind the Burdocks", this is nothing to do with being clever: in the past, the dried leaves were added to bedding to drive away fleas etc. and the name comes from rolling over on a leaf in the wrong way. The leaves can be used as a herb and have have a lemony flavour similar to sorrel followed by heat which is a little like chilli.

    The number of cows in Cornwall has been estimated at around 75,000 (a lot of moo is needed for the cheese and clotted cream produced in Cornwall) so there's a good chance of encountering some in grassy fields.

    The world cattle is from the same origins as "capital" and was originally a world for any portable wealth. Later it came to mean specifically (any) livestock which was still the understood meaning in Tudor times. It is only in relatively recent times that the scope has been limited further to just cows.

  31. Go through the gate and follow the track until it ends on a road.

    The field on the right is home to an impressive number of rabbits.

    Since rabbits' unfussy diet includes pretty much anything grown by farmers, in the 1950s, the disease myxomatosis was deliberately spread in the UK to curb rabbit numbers. Over 99% were wiped-out and they almost became extinct. The few survivors that were genetically more resistant to the disease multiplied and so the survival rate has now increased to around 35%. Escaped pet rabbits inoculated with a live virus have the potential to transfer the vaccine into the wild population which may further increase resistance. Consequently the peak rabbit population has gradually recovered to around half the size of the UK human population. More recently, rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus type 2 (RVHD2) has crossed to the UK from continental Europe and is now spreading through the wild population.

  32. Turn left and follow the road for about 20 metres to reach a footpath sign on your right. Climb the steps and descend the footholds on the other side into the field. Go through the pedestrian gate and then follow the right hedge, heading for the gate roughly 20 metres to the left of the corner of the field.

    The bushes along the small stream provide good perches for small birds such as robins.

    The tradition of robins on Christmas cards is thought to arise from Victorian postmen wearing red jackets and been nicknamed Robins.

  33. Go through the gate and follow the left hedge to a gap about three quarters of the way down.

    Barbed wire was first used in Victorian times with several different people independently inventing and patenting different designs. Modern barbed wire is made from steel which is then galvanised to prevent it rusting (at least until the zinc coating dissolves away). The barbed wire used for fencing is often made of high-tensile (springy) steel which is suited to being laid in long, continuous lengths. As it is forbidden by the Highways Act of 1980 for barbed wire to block a Public Right of Way, one practical solution used by farmers is to put a plastic sheath over the barbed wire where it passes over a stile. In the rare circumstance that you encounter exposed barbed wire on a stile, the most likely cause for this is mischievous cattle pulling off the plastic sheaths; let the Countryside Team know and they can alert the landowner.

  34. Go through the gap into the adjoining field and then follow the path to a stile at the far-right corner of the field, roughly 15 metres to the right of the gate.

    The shade from the trees and the moisture from the marshy ground result in conditions perfect for mosses to thrive.

    Generations of plants alternate between two different kinds of life form. One generation produces spores and these grow through cell division into a new organism. This then produces eggs and sperm which combine to grow into the first kind of organism again.

    In the case of flowering plants, the organism that produces the eggs and sperm is only a tiny beast consisting of a few cells that is contained entirely within its parent. In mosses, it's the other way round: the organism that produces the eggs and sperm is the main one and the spore-producer is a smaller plant, reliant on its parent. In the case of algae, both are independent organisms in their own right.

  35. Cross the stile and footbridge and bear left onto the path alongside the river. Follow the path downriver and over a stile. Continue a little further into the field to reach a waymark.

    The stream runs all the way from Davidstow Woods up on the moor and joins with another moorland stream that you'll cross over on the lane to Tregoodwell. These meet the River Camel at the confluence that you encountered at the start of the walk.

  36. From the waymark, head straight across the field to a stone stile next to a gate.

    The large trees along the stream are sycamore.

    Sycamores like moist soil and the young trees need a lot of water (equivalent to an inch of rain per week) to get established. For this reason, sycamores are very often found along streams or in low-lying meadows that collect water. Once their roots grow deep enough, the mature trees can withstand drought by tapping into underground moisture.

  37. Cross the stile onto a path, which opens out into a track, and follow it until it ends at a gate.

    Nettle fibres have been used to make clothing since at least the Bronze Age (textiles made from nettle fibre were found at a Bronze Age site in Denmark). During the First World War, almost all German army uniforms were made from nettles to avoid a shortage of cotton. In more recent years, some European countries have started modern commercial production of nettle-based textiles. A textiles student who produced "nettle knickers" for her university project commented that the fibres are coarser than cotton so it is probably more suited to workwear than underwear.

  38. Go through the pedestrian gate on the right of the farm gate and turn left onto the lane (Roughtor Road). Follow the lane through the village until the road forks at a blue sign which says "No Entry 200 yards ahead".

    Tregoodwell was first recorded as Tregothwal in 1298. Other than tre, meaning "farmstead", the origin of the name is not known.

  39. Go straight ahead, down the lane with the blue sign. Follow this until you reach the main road.

    The cross in Tregoodwell is the remains of a mediaeval wayside cross that may have originally marked a route from Camelford to Davidstow and St Clether. The cross head was discovered in June 1891, while workmen were cutting a new entrance to a football field, and was placed on top of a nearby boundary stone. Some time around 1911, it was taken to Lanteglos Church for preservation where it remained for a century. In 2013, the cross was re-erected in Tregoodwell on a new granite base and shaft.

  40. At the main road, cross carefully to the pavement opposite. Then turn left and follow it downhill, to return to the car park.

    As you'd naturally expect from a market town, Camelford has some old pubs:

    • The Darlington is an 800 year old coaching Inn in the market square
    • The Mason's Arms is an 18th century building opposite the library

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