Country diary: a dipper in the shadows of the Devon Expressway

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Plymouth, Devon: The sighting takes me by surprise. This is a species I am used to seeing along Dartmoor’s tumbling torrents to the north

The river runs beneath a stream of heavy traffic – two flows crossing: one threading quietly between the uprights of the flyover, the other thundering above with a sound like raging rapids.

Hurrying under the eight lanes of A38 at the eastern edge of Plymouth, every strut and girder daubed with graffiti, I am keen to reach the greenery beyond.

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