Land, rivers, woodlands and trees

The village stands above the valley of the River Waldon, but the parish is bounded on two sides by the two important rivers Torridge and Tamar. These rise on high sedgy ground, known as Woolley Moors, which the great artist Turner chose as a subject for one of his landscapes. Their sources are in Morwenstow parish, only a few hundred yards from the Bradworthy border.

Nightingales Heard
A nightingale which is reputed to have been heard in Lake valley has kept a number of people from their beds until the early hours. A few have been fortunate, apparently, in hearing the elusive songster, and some consider there are two pairs of nightingales nesting in the valley. (May 1953)

The Tamar flows due south to Plymouth and the English Channel, the Torridge south-eastward making a dramatic loop to empty into Bideford Bay, only a few miles from its source.

Mill valley

Mill Valley in the 1920's.

There are two notable beech tree lined avenues in the parish - at Berridon and Blatchborough. These were planted in the last decade of the 19th century.

The Berridon avenue was damaged during storms in 1989, when 22 trees were felled, but a programme of stock replenishment is currently underway.

A Devon Starling Roost
One of the biggest starling roosts in North Devon is to be found in the park of Berridon Hall. The birds began to congregate there about five years ago. Each season they have increased a little, but it is only this year that the roosting flocks have risen to such enormous proportions. (November 1953)

In the 1920's Mrs. Desmond Humphreys, a celebrated novelist who wrote under the nom de plume 'Rita', travelled throughout Devon and Cornwall.

Tamar, 1950s

A bridge over the River Tamar in the 1950's.

She was undoubtedly impressed by Berridon Avenue as in her book Asenath of the Ford she wrote of 'the long lovely avenue that leads to Bradworthy' where 'the trees bent towards each other on either side entwining bough and branch with loving intimacy, as friends link arm in arm, or lovers clasp hands'.

Much of the parish is high (732 feet at the highest point on the Great Ridge at Blatchborough), affording magnificent views, away to Dartmoor and far down into Cornwall.

But these heights are swept by south-westerly Atlantic gales (the sea being about seven miles away), with consequent dearth of trees and foliage.

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