Burning the Gorse

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Burning the gorse (swaling), Dartmoor, Devon
Whilst out on Dartmoor one afternoon in March under a beautiful but frustratingly clear blue sky (lovely, but hopeless for my sort of photography!) my eye was caught by what looked like huge billowing clouds on the horizon. On heading over to investigate, it turned out to be a team of Dartmoor Commoners carrying out controlled burning of the gorse (swaling) just above Venford Reservoir. They very patiently explained what they were doing, answered my questions and kindly allowed me to get in their way as they worked. With the sun in front of me the smoke and fire were backlit and the figures became silhouetted against it. It was a real privilege to see this practise at first hand - many thanks.
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The Crossing
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