A calendar of postcards by Dartmoor Paul

Laura White
Laura White

Paul Rendell, also known as ’Dartmoor Paul’, was born in Plymouth and became enthusiastic about Dartmoor from an early age after being taken on numerous outings by his parents.

Burrator and Sheepstor were two of the favourite places they went as a family. Very early he found he was fascinated by the moor’s industrial archaeology and its wildlife.

After leaving school, Paul trained as a chef and worked in a number of establishments within the Plymouth area, as well as some on Dartmoor.

His boyhood explorations had already provided him with a knowledge of the moor that only a few possess, and his interest led to a second job: leading guided walks and giving talks.

He became a full-time professional guide; this in turn has enabled him to introduce countless people to the delights of walking on Dartmoor and throughout the West Country.

As a keen local historian, Paul has written many articles for newspapers and magazines and wrote his first book, called ‘Exploring the Lower Walkham Valley.’

In 1991 he founded the ‘Dartmoor News’, a bi-monthly magazine which he still edits today.

Paul has now been a Dartmoor National Park Guide for over 21 years and is now a member of the Moorland Guides. Paul has written three books, ‘Exploring the Lower Walkham Valley’, ‘Exploring the Burrator Area’ and ‘Okehampton Through Time.’

He loves taking photographs and many of his pictures can be found in his calendar. “My dad used to take photos and movies on his 16mm cine camera and I got my love for taking photographs from him. At school I hated PE and any type of sport and would not turn up for lessons.

‘I was asked by my teacher what I would like to do instead, I said I love taking photographs. As it happened there was a dark room at school and a teacher once a week would help me and couple of lads to learn the art of developing photos, mainly black and white. Since then I have always taken a camera with me wherever I go.

‘Autumn is a wonderful time for taking photos with all the colours of the trees turning. One of the worst subjects is snow; if you don’t get it right the white of the snow just bounces and turns everything pale and white.

‘The picture of Buckland-in-the-Moor looks like the road had just been swept with all the leaves each side of road. It’s not always easy to photograph popular places like the clapper bridge at Postbridge without people walking on it but early morning is usually a good time.

‘Most of photos are taken by being in the right place at right time. I do not often go out to find that picture but to be in the right place to let the picture happen and take it at the right moment.

‘I am often out with a group of walkers so don’t have to time wait around for the right light so have to take it when I can. If you want explore Dartmoor with a local guide please get in touch.

When you have finished with the calendar you tear off the picture and use it as postcard. The Dartmoor 2019 Postcard Calendar can be bought from an number of outlets on Dartmoor and via the web site www.dartmoornews.co.uk or

Local Life