By: Blonde Two

The Two Blondes are safely back from a Silver Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition weekend on Dartmoor.  We took nine lovely, enthusiastic youngsters and came back with nine rather tired, wet ones.  More about them later but I wanted to tell you all about our campsite for the two nights that we were away.

We camped at Huccaby Farm near Hexworthy (lovely, friendly people).  The camping field is very pretty and is down on the left bank of the East Dart River but we didn’t pitch our tents there, nothing normal for the Two Blondes!  We had walked a circuitous route from Widecombe and by the time we arrived on Saturday evening the camping field was quite full (sunny bank holiday on Dartmoor – who can blame them?)  Blonde One went to find an in-charge person who came out and led us over the road to a field of cows.  We stood and smiled politely, laughing at the kids who looked a bit nervous, whilst the farmer opened the cow field gate, led the cows past us over the road to the barn and ushered us into the field.

It wasn’t quite what we were expecting but it was really nice having a whole field to ourselves.  Some interesting psychology was going on when we all elected to pitch our tents in a small fenced off section of the field.  Maybe we are a bit like cows ourselves and feel more comfortable enclosed and all together.  Apart from the odd cow pat which needed avoiding and the rather bumpy, cow trodden ground, it was a lovely spot and we could make as much or as little (more the case) noise as we liked.

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On the first morning, Blonde One got a bit worried that the farmer had forgotten that we were staying two nights and would needed to put the cows (and their very cute calves) back into the field – they were mooing a lot in the barn and obviously wanted out.  She was kind of right, the youngsters (humans) were just packing up their tents (they had to carry all of their kit with them for all three days) when the cows came trotting, or whatever cows do, back into the field.  There was a brief moment of panic as we were planning to leave the adult tents up until we realised that the farmer had shut the gate to our pen and we were safe inside our little area.

I was good fun sharing a campsite with the cows, the little ones were entertaining with their frisking around and big mama cow kept coming over to investigate us in a rather grumpy way.  I have learnt from my cow days in New Zealand that there is usually a big boss mama cow who rules the behaviour of the group (just like people).  Apart from her taking an “a bit too close” look at anyone crossing her field with a big bag, she was no trouble until she decided to jump the wall into the lane on Monday.

We liked our cow field so much that we think we will ask for it again another time.