The DTRG project

The DTRG volunteers offered their services to work on tin mining sites within the Burrator catchment area, that were in danger of becoming lost under scrub and trees. The Roughtor Mine sites along the Narrator Valley, were identified as being those in most need of our attentions.

The main aims of the project are to:
To identify and clear sites at risk from vegetation and forestry contractors.
To survey and record the sites.
To produce a walk description.
To improve public access to and information about the sites.
For DTRG to work closely with SWLT & DNPA.
There are several adits (inhabited by bats so not open to the public) and associated spoil heaps, two leats, various holes which may be related to the mines, and a building which may have been used as a mill. The sites are very fragile, and should not be interfered with.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO PROTECT THEM?
Dartmoor and the Burrator area are very popular with walkers, horse riders and cyclists. The mining features in this valley have been susceptible to damage from vegetation – both conifer plantations and smaller undergrowth. Some of the stones from buildings and other features have been removed over the years for other purposes, probably connected to farming.
One of our aims was to clear vegetation from the sites so that we could investigate more fully what is there, and make more records, while the sites were still clear. There are no plans to rebuild or restore the features present.
Although a small and little known mine, Roughtor Mine lies along an accessible track which can be used by the public at any time. Having rescued the sites from vegetation overgrowth, it would be a shame for them to disappear again.

WHAT DID THE WORK INVOLVE?
Clearance work to the sites was undertaken in a sensitive manner to avoid causing further damage to any archaeological remains surviving. The aim was to remove vegetation obscuring mining features so that the public can view them and the site could be recorded in detail. Care was taken not to inadvertently damage sites through overexposure to the elements.
This is what we have done:
Cleared vegetation from the site to enable it to be seen by the public. This involved the removal of brambles or fallen branches, clearing gorse using bow saws or loppers.
Taken photos of the site for inclusion in SWLT and DTRG records.
Surveyed the sites at 1:200.
Written a self guided trail around the area.

WHAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED SO FAR?
In autumn 2008, we set ourselves the task (or should I say challenge) of clearing the sites and producing a self guided walk. This we have achieved and also produced a comprehensive set of plans at 1:200.
WHAT IS PLANNED FOR 2012?
With the publication of the self guided trail on both SWLT and DTRG’s websites, the completion of the archive, the main part of the project is now finished. DTRG may in the future, publish more about this area, at a date as yet unknown.

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