Tuesday, 6 August 2019

The Old Mill, Jacobstowe

Chris and I have just returned from a short but delightful break at Jacobstowe, near Okehampton (not to be confused with the Jacobstow, between Bude and Tintagel, in Cornwall).

Our visit was in response to an invitation from Linda and Kevin, the owners of The Old Mill, to pay them a visit. Chris and Linda are firm friends, having frequently walked together in the Byfield area. For my part I knew Linda, but not well, and I had only met Kevin once before. As it turned out, they were excellent hosts and very pleasant company. Our old friends Lynda and Damien Moran were also visiting The Old Mill but we had travelled down separately.

Chris and Damien chat on the steps of The Old Mill.
5 August, 2019
Linda and Kevin have worked incredibly hard to create this B and B and can be very proud of their efforts, for it really is a lovely property, impeccably neat and full of interesting features. Among these features is the original mill whose innards we examined. It is hoped that the mill, whose power originally came from the River Okement, will eventually be restored to full working order.

The restoration of the mill will involve a great deal of hard work
but many of the original parts are still in place. 4 August, 2019
The Okement in an interesting river. Originally called the River Ock, its two main sources, the East And West Ock, rise on Dartmoor. They meet near Okehampton and as the River Okement, flow north via Jacobstowe to join the River Torridge.

The River Okement looking downstream. The gardens of The Old Mill are to
the left, with the sitting-out area where we enjoyed a lovely barbecue.
4 August, 2019
Linda and Kevin have filmed otters, deer and dippers beside the water and even as we watched on our first evening a kingfisher flashed past. The river contains trout, so the otters and the occasional grey heron probably feed well. Apparently the river once supported salmon and Kevin hopes that, with suitable management, they will make a return.

On our first day there we took a stroll through meadows beside the river. The shrubs beside the river included wild privet and spindle; hops wound their way through the shrubs, together with Black Bryony (our only native representative of the yam family).
The river looking upstream. Alders, oaks, willows, ash and sycamore line
the banks. 4 August, 2019

Although I am no mycologist I did photograph this interesting fungus in the meadow. Once home, a check through my books (why do I have four books on fungi?) suggested that it was the Saffron Bolete, Leccinum crocipodium.
Saffron Bolete? Seems likely, but what do I know?
It is not a particularly common toadstool but is associated with oak, some specimens of which stood nearby. It is sometimes called the Yellow-cracking Bolete, and the cracks on the cap are certainly of a lemon-yellow colour.

Same specimen. Underside of cap, showing the yellowish pores. Meadow
beside the River Okement. 4 August, 2019

The area in general seems to have a rich and varied fauna and flora. But am I jealous? You bet!

No comments:

Post a Comment