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Somerset group clear a N Dorset Medieval Drove

The Blackmore Vale in North Dorset is crisscrossed by a network of ancient drove routes which would in former times have been used to move animals onto the common lands where they were grazed and off to the markets where they were sold. Many of these beautiful routes are now totally neglected and overgrown. Caphays Drove near Bishops Caundle had become so narrow that the metre wide path is a quagmire.

The EuCAN Somerset group spent a day opening up this drove, finding an abundance of bluebells pushing up through the leaf litter and several Spurge Laurel plants, Daphne laureola, now a scarce species. Walkers can now enjoy the full width of the drove – the narrow pedestrian bridge at the southern end will luckily prevent 4×4 vehicles using it and trashing it as they have so many of the green ways in southern England.


The Drove has been overgrown and unpassable for at least 40 years! click to enlarge


By the end of a perfect spring day we had opened up over 200 metres of the drove.  click to enlarge


At the end of the day. Click to enlarge