An independent voice and a forum for debate for those who find Dartmoor a source of livelihood or inspiration

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Forthcoming Events

The following events have been organised over the next few months. More details can be found in our Newsletters. New events are normally added to the website to coincide with Newsletters being posted.

Please use the Book Now buttons to book places and pay online. If you are a Dartmoor Society member please sign into the Member Centre beforehand so you can book places for members-only events and not need to enter all your contact details every time.

Alternatively you can download and print a booking form and post it to us together with a cheque to cover any payment to The Dartmoor Society, PO Box 570, Torquay, TQ1 9JB.

When our events are over-subscribed, waiting lists are created. If you find that you cannot attend an event you have booked for, please contact the Honorary Secretary as soon as possible. Your place can then be allocated to someone else.


Higher Shilstone - Memories of a Medieval Farmstead on Dartmoor

Higher Shilstone - Memories of a Medieval Farmstead on Dartmoor

Saturday 15th February, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Manaton Parish Hall, Devon, TQ13 9UJ (SX 75122 81419)

An illustrated talk and film screening presented by photographer Chris Chapman for the Dartmoor Society

Chris Chapman, photographer, TV presenter, author and film maker has produced a vast amount of work both on a local and international level.

In the summer of 1974 Chris set off on a three week walking tour of Dartmoor, together with a donkey called Mistletoe. When they arrived in the village of Throwleigh, Chris was so taken with the place that he decided to camp for a while, photographing life in the village including afternoon tea with the owners of a beautiful Dartmoor longhouse tucked in under Shilstone Tor.

The photographs he took became the foundation for a Dartmoor archive which now spans forty-five years, and in 1976 he chose the village of Throwleigh as his permanent home.

In view of his remarkable, wide-ranging record of Dartmoor, the society is delighted to promote this truly fascinating event.

Pre-booking is essential for catering purposes.

  • Open to the public – non-members welcome.
  • Members: £5.00 each.
  • Non-members: £6.00 each.
  • Refreshments included.
  • Please book by Monday 10th February.

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Presentation and Visit to North Hall, Widecombe

Wednesday 18th March, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
The Church House, SX 718 767

Presented by Andy Crabb, Dartmoor National Park Authority Archaeologist.

Andy Crabb has a dual role for both the Dartmoor National Park Authority and Historic England and has been instrumental in setting up and supervising this very successful community excavation.

This event will commence in the upstairs of The Church House where Andy will kindly give us a presentation on the excavation which has taken place over a number of years, plus give us all the up to the minute information on the excavation that hasn’t been released yet. Andy will also display some of the key finds from the site.

We will then have a short refreshment break of half an hour enabling us to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with light cake and biscuits and then we will move on to the site itself where Andy will explain the layout and history of the site, etc.

There is no charge for this event, however donations for tea are most welcome and will be shared equally between The Dartmoor Society and Widecombe History Group.

Members of the Dartmoor Society and Guests as well as Members of Widecombe History Group along with local inhabitants are most welcome.

Pre-booking is essential by Monday 16th March either by booking online via the Dartmoor Society website or via the enclosed booking form to ascertain numbers for catering purposes.

  • Open to the public – non-members welcome.
  • No charge.
  • Please book by Monday 16th March.

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Dartmoor Society 22nd Annual General Meeting

Saturday 18th April, 2:30pm
Jubilee Hall, Chagford, SX 702 874

Before the main business proceedings, we will welcome our guest speaker Eamon Crowe from Natural England who will give an illustrated talk entitled: “Dartmoor from a Public Body Perspective”.

Agenda

  1. Welcome and apologies.
  2. Minutes of the 21st (2019) AGM – to be approved (printed in Newsletter 68, June 2019).
  3. Acting Chairman’s Report 2019.
  4. Honorary Treasurer’s Report 2019 – to be approved.
  5. Election of officers and other Executive Committee members. The following nominations have been received:

    President (by invitation): Peter Beacham OBE.
    Chairman: TBA.
    Honorary Secretary: Tanya Welch proposed by Sue Bradford and seconded by Tom Orchard.
    Newsletter Editor: TBA.
    General Committee: Chris Chapman proposed by Michael Petrie Ritchey and seconded by Jennifer Page.
  6. Election of independent examiner of accounts.
  7. Any other business.

At the close of business, there will be a presentation of The Dartmoor Society Award 2020 to Dr Tom Greeves.

Afternoon tea will be available after the meeting, and donations towards their cost will be welcome. Please book in advance for catering purposes.

  • Members only.
  • No charge.

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Visit to Fingle Woods

Thursday 14th May, 10:00am – 3:30pm
Meet at the Fingle Bridge Inn, SX 743 899

Our host for the day is David Rickwood, Site Manager for Devon of The Woodland Trust, who has very kindly arranged transport for us all to navigate around the site.

It’s five years since the National Trust and the Woodland Trust came together in partnership to manage Fingle Woods, an 825-acre ancient woodland site carved out of the Teign Valley on the northern fringes of Dartmoor National Park in Devon. This partnership was the first venture of its kind, and the two charities’ combined forces have vastly improved Fingle Woods over the last five years.

Restoring a jewel in the Teign Valley, accessible to everyone, with revived woods teeming with wildlife that better linked and joined with the landscape around it, was the course set for the partnership and Fingle Woods.

‘Making Space for Nature’, Professor Sir John Lawton’s landmark report in 2010, set the direction for conservation projects ubiquitously. The acquisition of Fingle Woods may well not have happened without his report, and it set a clear vision for Fingle Woods to be part of making more landscapes bigger, better and more joined up.

This vision has determined the methods and techniques used in the restoration. Clear felling wasn’t going to be selected, as the sudden increase in sunlight can allow the establishment of dominant plants such as bracken and bramble. While they are important components of a good mix of woodland flora, the aim of this restoration project is to encourage a patchwork of habitats.

Continuous Cover Forestry was the approach adopted in order to ensure that the woodland is restored in the most sympathetic and progressive way possible. Horse logging, alongside hand-tool wielding work parties and other conventional timber extraction methods are all used where appropriate and carefully selected according to each particular area of the woods.

Please bring suitable footwear, wet weather clothing, a packed lunch and drinks.

Pre-booking is essential. There will be no charge for this event, however donations are very welcome for the Woodland Trust and there will be a formal collection at the end of the day.

  • Members only.
  • No charge.
  • Numbers limited to 40.

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Dartmoor Society Summer Barbecue and Meadow Walk

Saturday 20th June, 4:00pm
Challacombe Farm, SX 694 795

This year’s Barbecue will take place at Challacombe Farm where Naomi and her husband Mark are playing host and have agreed to lead us on two short walks.

The first walk commences at 4pm and will incorporate some very interesting Mining remains in the Headland Warren Valley.

After enjoying a cup of tea or coffee our second walk at 5.30pm will include their outstanding Hay Meadows where you will see some of the best examples of a marshy habitat made up of purple moor grass, interspersed with devil’s bit scabious, orchids, marsh marigolds, and many other flowers. This mix of flowers provides nectar for critically endangered insects such as the bog hoverfly which is only found at a few dozen sites on Dartmoor. We may even catch a glimpse of the endangered Marsh Fritillary.

The Barbecue itself will start at 6.30pm. This year Naomi and Mark have very kindly volunteered to slow cook some whole joints of pasture fed beef and lamb in the oven. After crisping up on the Barbecue these will be sliced off to go into rolls and we will provide all the usual salad accompaniments, desserts etc.

As usual please bring along your own choice of drink, bottle of wine, etc – paper cups will be provided.

When booking please state any food allergies or preferences, vegan/vegetarian, etc.

Car parking will be available in the front field on the left just after crossing the “Troll Bridge” at the entrance to the farm.

Dogs that have been wormed and on leads are welcome.

  • Open to the public – non-members welcome.
  • Members: £7.00 each.
  • Non-members: £9.00 each.
  • Please book by Tuesday 16th June.

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The Wonders of “Wildside Nursery”

Tuesday 21st July, 2:00pm
Near Buckland Monachorum

Created by Keith and Ros Wiley, “Wildside” is a spectacular garden planted in the new naturalism style, originally sculpted from a flat field and taking their inspiration from the wildflower rich landscapes of South Africa, Crete and elsewhere.

One of our members Pat Read has kindly suggested this visit which is a special opportunity to see a unique garden which utilises vast earth works on a scale beyond most people’s vision.

This garden has been sculpted so that it has canyons, many pools, rock gardens and more. Within its three acres it contains a riot of Acers, Magnolias, Anemones and many more exotic international plant varieties. At the time of our visit there will be vast swathes of perennials in flower.

Our host is Keith Wisley. Sadly his wife Ros died in September 2019 and the commercial long-term future of this garden is under consideration.

We have agreed a special group price of £6.50 per member. There is no tea-room on site, however you are welcome to bring your own drinks and refreshments.

More details, including directions, will be published in the June newsletter.

  • Members and guests only.
  • Members: £6.50 each.
  • Guests: £6.50 each.

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