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

News From May 2015

Letter from the Dartmoor Society sent to Natural England regarding Dartmoor Ponies

Posted in Livestock on Wednesday 27th May 2015 at 10:36pm

James Cross
Chief Executive, Natural England
4th Floor, Foss House
Kings Pool
1–2 Peaseholme Green
York YO1 7PX

27 May 2015

Dear Mr Cross,

Ponies on Dartmoor and grazing calendars for agri-environmental schemes.

The Dartmoor Society is an independent charity with broadly educational aims, striving to improve the quality of decision-making on Dartmoor. We have approximately 450 members.

We have been very concerned to learn that a representative of Natural England has stated recently in forum-style meetings on Dartmoor that ‘there is no evidence that ponies are critical to Dartmoor’s biodiversity’ (see letter by Joss Hibbs in Western Morning News 25 May 2015). Moreover, we have learnt that there is a real possibility that ponies will be removed from the Natural England stipulations for grazing calendars on Dartmoor.

We are the only body to have held a public debate on the future of ponies on Dartmoor (in October 2013) and to have held a public research lecture highlighting new findings on the behaviour of ponies (in November 2014).

We therefore hope you can reassure us that ponies will be given proper recognition by Natural England as essential for the future of both Dartmoor’s ecology and culture, and that Natural England will themselves conduct research by properly qualified ecologists to establish the role ponies play in managing Dartmoor’s vegetation.

We would always be pleased to join in discussion with Natural England about the future of Dartmoor.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Greeves MA PhD
Chairman, The Dartmoor Society

Dartmoor Society members are most welcome to write to James Cross using the York address if they wish to voice any thoughts they may have themselves on this controversial subject.

We would also be very grateful if you would please consider signing a petition which is gathering momentum and we trust will seriously influence the powers at be if we can get enough support. Please just click the link below and follow the instructions – many thanks.

Sign the Petition

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Visit to Exeter and Teign Valley Railway

Posted in Events on Wednesday 27th May 2015 at 10:24pm

On Wednesday 13th May, 36 excited Dartmoor Society Members attended a very sunny and warm May meeting at Exeter and Teign Valley Railway, Christow Station, which is sited in part of the disused Christow Station goods yard, courtesy of a very kind invitation by Colin Burges. After a comprehensive introduction by Colin he left us to explore all the various photographs and railway features and exhibits such as his  two unique Camping Vans which he has personally named “Toad” and “Tadpole” as well as his own exhibition, and the highlight of the afternoon a ride on Colin’s manumotive, electromotive, observation saloon called “Jenny Wren.” This had moments of great speed and was a very pleasurable experience to all who had a ride in it. The afternoon was rounded off by a lovely tea and homemade cake and plenty of socialising on what turned out to be a perfect afternoon. Many thanks to Colin for his hospitality and enthusiasm, keep up the good work!

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2015 Annual General Meeting

Posted in Events on Sunday 17th May 2015 at 10:23pm

At 2.30pm on  Saturday 25th April, 43 Dartmoor Society Members attended our AGM at Meavy Village Hall. To start off the afternoon we were all treated to a presentation by Jeremy Pyne Natural England’s Operations Manager for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Team. This was followed by a brief question and answer session and following the elections and formal proceedings Will Hand was presented with the Dartmoor Society Award, which is a unique specially commissioned ceramic plate made by a local potter and suitably inscribed by a local calligrapher saying “THE DARTMOOR SOCIETY AWARD 2015 - WILL HAND - FOR INNOVATIVE PRESENTATION OF WEATHER DATA”. At the end of the afternoon we all socialised and tucked into a scrumptious tea prepared by Lis Greeves and her team of helpers.

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