Despite the grim weather forecast of gales accompanied by lashing rain, the Bellever Day celebrations at Postbridge this summer went ahead and, judging by the number of visitors who joined in the various events, the Day was a great success. This was a joint event involving the Dartmoor National Park Authority, the Forestry Commission, Devon County Council and the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust (DPHT).
Many of the activities were out of doors, and so were very weather dependent but, fortunately, none of these had to be cancelled.
The activities included learning traditional forest crafts, such as charcoal burning and willow binding whilst sitting around a campfire. Willem Montagne, the National Park Authority's Education Officer, shared his building expertise with many youngsters who produced some striking models of Bronze Age round houses or prehistoric ceremonial sites using locally gathered building materials.
There were guided walks to look at a number of Bellever’s archaeological sites, including the recently excavated Bronze Age round house, and opportunities to learn more about the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust's work in the plantation.
A pony walk led up to the special performance of Cauda Equina - The Horse's Tale, celebrating the Dartmoor pony through the ages.
Under the shelter of a brand new tent, supplied by Sprayway, there was an opportunity to make clay figures and to handle prehistoric bronze weapons. There was also the challenge of sorting out a muddled collection of genuine archaeological artefacts into their time periods using a Dartmoor map of archaeological sites.
Ranger Jon Stones provided valuable support for the day and the staff at the Information Centre were kept very busy with sales and enquiries. A number of visitors also took the opportunity to visit the Going for Bronze Exhibition. Refreshments were provided courtesy of the YHA.