• Paul at Wallabrook
  • Paul at Watern

Westcountry Illustrated Talks

Paul Rendell is available as a speaker to groups, societies and other organisations. All talks are illustrated and last about an hour plus time for questions.

WALKS CAN BE ARRANGED LINKED TO TALKS INCLUDING;

  • Haymeadow walk & cream tea (June/July)
  • Industrial walk at Meldon
  • Town and village trails like Princetown, Tavistock and Okehampton
    TALKS

  • THE HISTORY OF DARTMOOR
    A general talk about the history of Dartmoor from the Bronze Age to the present day looking at farmhouses, reservoirs, villages and landscapes.
  • OLD DARTMOOR
    Come on a wonderful journey and look at things that have changed over the years. From travel to houses to villages and towns. Using old postcards and photographs of Dartmoor to help to bring back memories of the ‘good old days’.
    BURRATOR RESERVOIR AND ITS SOCIAL IMPACT
    The building of Burrator Reservoir, which opened in September 1898, had a direct impact on the people and the farms of Sheepstor, a Dartmoor village which grew and declined during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,
  • BURRATOR FARMS – Life in a Dartmoor Valley
    Looking at the history and the people who used to live within the area around Burrator Reservoir.
  • DARTMOOR TINNERS
    This talk in which we look at one of the major industries on the Moor and some of the trades which grew up around the tin miners.
  • DARTMOOR CROSSES
    The history of crosses on Dartmoor. They were used for more than just waymarks and they are not just made of granite.
  • INDUSTRIAL ARCHEOLOGY OF THE MOOR
    This talk will look at how man has changed the Moor by mining for tin, copper and silver and quarried for granite and china clay. Man has dug for peat, made ice and started many other small industrial enterprises.
  • STONE MEN OF THE MOOR
    Look at how men cut and used granite from the many quarries on the Moor.
  • THE SECRET WILDLIFE ON DARTMOOR
    Looking specifically at the plants and wildlife found on the moor, in the woods and in the rivers. 
  • PRINCETOWN AND ITS PRISON
    The history of the highest village on Dartmoor. The great plan to turn the area over to productive farming. The history of the bleak prison and the railway that makes Princetown special.
  • DARTMOOR TOWNS AND VILLAGES
    Looking at the history and lifestyles within some of the villages and towns on the Moor. Places include Princetown and Sheepstor.
  • DARTMOOR PUBS
    A brief look at some of the 80 or more pubs and inns on Dartmoor. Stories relating to these places and looking at some of their names.
  • MILITARY ON THE MOOR
    How the military have used Dartmoor over the last 150 years: why and how they use this moorland for the security of the country.
    DARTMOOR’S HISTORY THROUGH PICTURE POSTCARDS
    The British picture postcard started in the 1890’s. This talk will look at the history and the ‘tricks of the trade’ used over the period of 100 years and many other aspects of postcards.
  • HAIRY HANDS, DEVILS AND BLACK DOGS
    Witches, devils, hairy hands and wild animals can all be found in this talk which is about legends and folklore on Dartmoor.
  • TRACKS, ROADS AND RAILWAYS ON DARTMOOR
    Many ways of moving about on Dartmoor have been used over the years. Packhorse routes, old railways and roads will be covered in this talk.
    TALES OF A DARTMOOR GUIDE
    Stories and events that can happen while taking a group walking. The guide must know a lot of things – how to read a map, how to avoid getting lost, the history of the moor, first aid and the ‘dry’ routes. This talk may put you off walking!!!
  • CURIOUS DARTMOOR
    Looking at strange or unusual buildings, follies, stones, etc.: items which often leave more questions than answers. The history of letterboxing will be explored as well as other crazy and wild things.
  • FOUR SEASONS
    How the weather has changed over the years. Looking at great blizzards and dry spells and how the climate may change in the years to go come and how it will affect our wildlife.
  • DARTMOOR BRIDGES
    From clapper to modern road bridge, each has its own story. One of the most famous bridges is Postbridge.
  • WATER FROM THE MOOR
    We get a lot of rain on Dartmoor and this flows into river, leats and reservoir. This talk will look at the history of taking water from the moors including Burrator and Meldon Reservoirs, leats like Plymouth and the Devonport Leat as well a river or two.
  • TALES OF WINTER ON DARTMOOR
    Looking at winter, tales of life on Dartmoor at this time of year including many legends. Dartmoor is so much different in the winter months.
  • OKEHAMPTON OF YESTERYEAR
    Looking at how this market town has changed over the years using many old photographs from last 100 years.
  • TALES OF A MOORLAND RIVER
    The history and wildlife of a moorland river. 
  • DARTMOOR CHARACTERS
    Looking at some famous local people like William Crossing, Richard Handsford Worth, Francis Drake, Beatrice Chase and less well known people like Aunt Mabel and Ruth Murray.
  • WAR HORSE –the story behind the Dartmoor locations.
    This talk looks at filming on Dartmoor and includes the making of War Horse in 2010 and the tricks they used to make this great movie.
  • TALES OF WALKING OF 100 MILES ACROSS DARTMOOR
    Following ancient tracks across the moor with pack ponies to raise money for the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust. The joys and the lows of working with Dartmoor ponies and people and the history of some of these tracks.
  • DARTMOOR GHOST STORIES
    Hear stories of strange happenings on Dartmoor including black dogs, ghostly encounters including hanging ladies in trees.
  • OLD YELVERTON
    Discover how things have changes the village of Yelverton and the surrounding settlements like Meavy, Sheepstor, Walkhampton and Clearbrook.
  • DARTMOOR PONY HERTIAGE TRUST
    This charity was set up to try and help save the Dartmoor Pony. This talk will look at what the DPHT does to active this aim including the work at Bellever.
  • THE HISTORY OF DARTMOOR AND ITS PONIES
  • Looking  the history of Dartmoor as well what part ponies have played shaping the landscape.
NEW TALKS FOR 2017

  • RAILWAYS AND TRAMWAYS ON DARTMOOR
    Looking at some of many railways and horse driven tramways on the moor including the Princetown Railway, Redlake Railway, Zeal Tor Tramway and Rattlebrook Railway. 
  • TAVISTOCK OF YESTERYEAR
    From the old abbey to the Bedfords, the railway and the canal, all have play’s part in the history of this stannary town.
  • THE ROLE OF THE PONY ON DARTMOOR INCLUDING THE HAYTOR GRANITE TRAMWAY
    Pony were used on the Haytor Tramway in the 1800s but they have used on many other project. The history of the tramway will be explained  in this talk.
  • THE TAMAR VALLEY – once an important route
    This 60 mile long river is the boundary between Devon and Cornwall. This talk will be looking at the landscape, the villages, industrial ruins, workers and the wildlife.
  • THE SECRET NATURE OF THE TAMAR VALLEY
    Looking at the plants and wildlife to be found in this quiet valley.
  • THE LANDSCAPE & WILDLIFE OF BODMIN MOOR
    A small moorland area which is rich in archeology, industrial remains and wildlife.
  • EXMOOR – the land of combes
    The history and wildlife of Exmoor: from forest to farming; moorland to coast. All within a national park.
  • WILD PLANTS OF  DEVON
    Looking at moorland plants as well as in our hedgerows and meadows while others are very rare throughout the area.
    DEVON’S WILDLIFE
    Looking at the wildlife on the moors, in the woods, on the rivers and on the coast. The plant life and some of their uses will be looked at.
  • STREET FURNITURE
    What are these strange objects? We walk over and past them but do not look at them. Find out more about post boxes, drain covers, etc.
  • DISCOVER THE WILD CORNWALL
    The coastal path, the moors and the beaches – Cornwall has it all. This talk looks at the coastal villages, Bodmin Moor, Kit Hill and the Isles of Scilly.
  • WESTCOUNTRY BUILDINGS
    Looking at the many buildings found in Devon and Cornwall. From Bronze Age round houses to Dartmoor Longhouses, manor houses and farmhouses as well as ash houses and tinners’ buildings.
  • ISLES OF SCILLY – THE PEACEFUL ISLES
    These wonderful islands that lie just 28 miles from the tip of Cornwall are full of life; life that is so different from that on the mainland.
  • FINLAND – LAND OF LAKES
    The natural history, the history and the way of life.
  • NATURE IN THE GARDEN
    Explore the wild animals, birds and creatures to be found in the garden; some easy to spot – others well hidden.
  • ISLANDS, ISLANDS, ISLANDS
    OUR BEAUTIFUL ISLANDS.
    The history and wildlife on Lundy, the Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands. Explore the different ways of life.
  • WILD BIRDS OF WESTCOUNTRY
    Woodlands, coast, moorland and river birds –there are so many to be seen in our area.