Angling correspondent John Sherlock Photo: ContributedAngling correspondent John Sherlock Photo: Contributed

JOHN SHERLOCK is our angling correspondent. Here he explains how he has replaced the rod with a piece of South Devon countryside tranquility

The Coronavirus and its restrictions are having a huge impact on all our lives. We are all finding things difficult sitting at home following the same routine every day. My escape is normally fishing whether it is on a boat with a few mates or in solitude by a lake. I cannot of course do this now.

Even though outside Torbay, I am live in the peaceful, beautiful village of Abbotskerswell and like many others take my daily exercise walking the lanes where distant hello’s and questions of one’s health are asked of passing strangers and friends alike.

A footpath took me through a field of vibrant yellow oilseed rape, a sure sign that spring is here. The yellow flowers extend over many acres of farmland which when ready for harvest will be used to produce vegetable oil and animal feed.

The path led through a gate into the back garden of a cottage back on to a lane and through the hamlet of Dainton past country cottages and a small industrial unit. At the end of the lane the path continues through woods where the first of this year’s bluebells are beginning to show.

Uphill the walk continued into a field abundant with wild violets and rabbits scurrying to get away from this unwanted visitor.

A look up saw a pair of Buzzards circling. Back into woodlands passing on my left on the other side of a barbed wire fence the Stoneycombe Quarry. A few moments were spent here looking across the vast expanse of bare stone and immobile vehicles to the quarry floor hundreds of feet away listening to the song of the wild birds. All too soon it was time to start down the path back to the lane, this time near the Bickley Mill Inn which on another occasion may well have seen me enjoying a welcome pint in its lovely beer garden.

Arriving home and I enjoyed a cup of tea in the garden, thinking back to the simple pleasures of the walk. And looking forward to the next one. Stay safe.