Milltown to Braunton, August 5th 2011


These photographs and videos are from a walk on August 5th 2011.  I was given a lift to Milltown (on the right of the map, above Muddiford) and walked from there past Marwood School to Gypsy Cross, along Metcombe Lane, past Patsford and Beara Cross and down Buttercombe Lane to Braunton ( on the left of the map)

Whiddon Lane
This turbine (the same one as seen on the left) was visible from Whiddon Lane, coming up out of Milltown.  It is - I think - Turbine 22, so that it is about a mile or more in the distance.
Marwood School
The road loops round, and goes by Marwood School, a small but thriving village school.
Whiddon Cross
The road goes on, and up to Whiddon Cross. I could see more of the turbines to the north from the gate in this field, and also others, when looking south and west.  The blades of the nearest turbines were turning steadily. There was a breeze (not a strong one.)  I listened carefully, but from this location, at this day and time, noise from these turbines was not a problem.
Tathill Wood from Metcombe Lane
The road bends round to the west, and after crossing Gypsy corner, I walked along Metcombe Lane towards Middle Marwood and Patsford. This is the view looking south (almost unspoilt, just a glimpse of turbines at the edge of this photograph)
                across at Burland Road
Further on, this is the view looking across the hamlet of Patsford towards Burland Road, the ancient drover's track that crosses these hills. It is now lined with turbines, that loom over the valley below.
Turbine 10
This is turbine 10, which is close to the road, nearer Beara Cross. Passing it by, I could hear more noise, and a hum that reminded me of the sound that you hear when passing some of the factories on Pottington Industrial Estate..  The whooshing sound of the blades was somewhat louder too, but not as loud as it was further on, close to Turbine No 6.

This is a short video I filmed about half a mile further on, on the road beside Turbine 6.  This turbine was far more noisy, and I tried - unsuccessfully - to record the sound.  My camera is not very good at such a job: it hears the breeze that passes its microphone, but was pretty ineffective at recording the sound of the turbine, behind the hedge.  While I heard little noise near Whiddon Cross, and some noise near Turbine 10, the noise I heard beside Turbine 6 was indeed loud, and annoying.   I listened to it for some time, until suddenly the turbine stopped turning. The contrast was startling; suddenly the landscape was quiet again, I could feel the peace that was such a feature of these lanes, and it made me even more aware of how irritating that constant noise had been.
Turbine 6
Turbine 6, from the road.

The video on the left was filmed further on, at a gateway looking onto the turbine, shortly before it stopped working. 

If you watch carefully, you will see a bird flying across in front or between the turbine blades.  I didn't notice it while I was filming, so I cannot say how close to the blades it was, but it seems to have had a lucky escape.
From Buttercombe Lane
I walked on, along Buttercombe Lane. These turbines are on ridge above the hamlet of Beara. 
Close up of bird flying
In this close-up, taken from the same photograph, you can see a bird on the left, flying above the trees. It flew towards the nearest turbine (you can just see the blade tip on the right)

From Buttercombe Lane
I tracked the bird with my camera, and took this next photograph.
Bird flying past turbine blade
Here is a second close-up, you can see how close the bird was flying to the turbine, with the blade approaching it.  Luckily it survived.

This is a video taken a short way further on, beside some buildings that are on the road (there is a marker showing the location of these buildings on the map above, and you can tell from the map how close the turbines in the video are to the buildings and the road.)
Looking back up Buttercombe lane
Finally I left the turbines behind,a nd walked down Buttercombe Lane, through trees that lined the descent.  This photograph was taken looking back, up towards the hills.  As is the case in many of the roads and lanes that wind across the landscape, there is grass in the centre of the road.
Into Braunton
Buittercombe Lane finally comes down into Braunton, the largest village in our area,  No one could call Braunton pretty, but friends who live there tell me it is a great place to live, close to Braunton Burrows and Saunton Sands and Croyde Bay. It has an Art Gallery, a Picture Framing Shop, cafes and restaurants, and numerous other small shops, as well as a Tescos and Co-Op.
Bus stop
And here is the Bus Stop, where I caught a bus back home to Barnstaple.
Here is a link to another walk, which is from Braunton to Crow Point, with photographs taken before the wind farm was built. Sometime I need to go back, to document the change, but I'm not sure that I want to, very much!