We went on a bit of an expedition last night. Under the auspices of the Tamar valley AONB (the man in the picture on the link is Furgus Parsons, who owns Spot's grandmother, lurcher Bracken, and Cassie's brother Byron, and he made our wonderful walnut dining room table), we went for a trip to the site of the Devon Great Consuls mine, once the largest copper and arsenic mine in the world (and probably the galaxy).
The site is like something from Mars, a great arsenical spoil heap in a barren landscape.
The ravaging of the landscape by the aristocracy has had the one serendipitous effect of creating a heathland habitat suitable for the elusive and mysterious nightjar. And even the toxic spoil tip has been used by sand martins as a nesting site. It was too dark to capture the martins as they flew in and out of the small holes in the side of the tip.