Doctor Green

… or how we reached Doccombe and then North Bovey on
Ride ‘n’ Stride day for Devon’s Historic Churches

It was time for the annual ‘Ride and Stride’.
So we began with a bus ride to Doccombe.
We were eleven strong, if strong is a bit of a stretch
for those of us clutching a bus pass.
The chapel is usually secured with binder twine,
but this time it was locked with a key so we could not go in.
We took the green way up to Mardon, quite a stiff climb to begin.

Then it was down to Moreton, past the farm that took in
a stray bomb in the now distant war. Some stopped to take pictures
as we paused to enjoy the views. The track was a little soft underfoot
after recent rain. Another short climb took us up to the Sentry,
and on to the church. We were welcomed with drink and a biscuit
before we gathered in silence to remember the Queen
and the son who was now to take her place.

We passed through the town and climbed to Brinning.
The sky was blue and the trees glowed in the morning sun.
Before reaching Narramore we turned to avoid more stiles
and found ourselves at Fursdon. Down again, up a little,
down again. We paused at the stepping stones.
Then it was up again into North Bovey where drink was rustled up
after a kettle was found. The church made a fine picnic place.

It was the homeward path now – no Lustleigh or Manaton this year.
Past Pound Rock we took the lane before crossing a field
that promised much winter feed for hungry cattle.
A few weeks ago the fields were brown as far as the eye could see.
But here after rain, the grass was green again.
Nature’s self-heal had done her work. And we, with good conversation
thrown in, had enjoyed our own therapy too from Doctor Green.