Stone me! Military copters take the strain for Exmoor repair job
MOST times when the Armed Forces are carrying heavy weights across the moors of the West Country it is Royal Marine commandos lumping hefty rucksacks across Dartmoor as part of their famously gruelling training.
But this week helicopter pilots from 846 Naval Air Squadron shifted 60 tonnes of stone without breaking into quite such a sweat. They combined a training mission with helping Exmoor National Park rangers move the stone up the Two Moors Way, near Simonsbath.
Two huge Merlin MK3 helicopters from the Yeovilton-based 846 Naval Air Squadron collected the crushed stone in bags from a nearby farm and delivered them to an eroded section of National Park path near Wheal Eliza.
The repair will improve accessibility, enabling more people to enjoy the stark beauty and tranquillity of the ancient Barle Valley.
Dan Barnett, Exmoor National Park’s access and recreation manag- er, said: “It’s great that 846 Naval Air Squadron has been able to help us get the job done.”
Lieutenant Commander Andy White, from 846 Naval Air Squadron, said: “We fly and exercise over Exmoor and Dartmoor frequently and it is gratifying that we can say thank you in some meaningful way.”
One of the Merlins doing the heavy lifting