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

News From August 2015

Dr Tim Harrod

Soil Map of North & East Dartmoor

Launch of Soil Map of North & East Dartmoor

Posted in Press Releases on Tuesday 11th August 2015 at 10:46pm

A pioneering Soil Map of North & East Dartmoor is to be launched at the Chagford Show on 20th August 2015.

The wonders of Dartmoor ‘above ground’ are known to us all, but not many of us give much thought to what is below the surface. Not so Dr Tim Harrod, (formerly of the Soil Survey of England & Wales 1965–2001) who has spent much of his working life discovering the composition of the ground beneath our feet. This work has now resulted in a new map of North & East Dartmoor Soils that will be launched on the Dartmoor Society stand at the Chagford Show on 20th August 2015.

The map is the culmination of many years of research into Dartmoor Soils by Dr Harrod both in his capacity working with the Soil Survey, and by research carried out after his retirement. The unfinished Soil Survey of Devon, whose completion could not be funded, has now been completed singlehandedly for this area of Dartmoor, by Dr Harrod in his own time. The area covered is nearly 50,000 acres of ground in the Chagford and Moretonhampstead area of Dartmoor, ranging from the deep peat of the high moor to a wide variety of enclosed land.

Cartography for the map was carried out by internationally recognised cartographer Hanno Koch based in Manaton. Soil types found in the area are identified by colour, conforming to the recognised soil classification system for England and Wales and the whole mapped area is overlain by the Ordnance Survey map, so it is easy to locate specific places and their soils.

There are in fact two maps – one is soils and the other terrain. The Dartmoor Society recognised this pioneering work when Dr Harrod was presented with the Dartmoor Society Award 2014. It was also the first organisation to make a grant towards the publication of the map. Since then, many organisations and individuals have been involved including Dartmoor National Park Authority, Dartmoor Trust, Dartmoor Preservation Association, Dartmoor Mires Project, Upstream Thinking, Land Research Group, Land Research Associates and the Stapledon Memorial Trust.

Dr Harrod is in the process of writing an accompanying ‘Record’ – the story of how the Dartmoor Soils Map was created and how it was finally able to be published. The map will be on display on the Dartmoor Society stand at the Chagford Show and copies will be available for purchase on the day or can be obtained from Dr Harrod – 01647 24330.

Caya Edwards
The Dartmoor Society

Base map credit Ordnance Survey and Dartmoor National Park Authority license No 100024842.

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Yennadon Quarry

Submit Your Letter of Support for Yennadon Quarry Expansion

Posted in Responses/Comments on Thursday 6th August 2015 at 10:54pm

Dear All Members and Friends of Yennadon Quarry,

We would like to draw your attention to the letter shown below generated by our Chairman Dr Tom Greeves in support of Yennadon Quarry’s plans to obtain planning permission to complete a proposed, modest expansion. The planning application is logged under number 0348/15 and if like us you wish to support Yennadon Quarry please feel free to generate a letter of support yourselves.

From a historical point of view there is more information regarding Yennadon Quarry’s plans etc in a previous Dartmoor Society Newsletter, Number 51, dated October 2014 which has a picture of the Quarry on the front cover. Also at the time, Tom wrote on behalf of the Dartmoor Society to the Western Morning News outlining his disappointment at the DNPA recommending refusal of the Quarry’s previous planning application itemised (number 0667/13) which was also for a modest expansion programme. This letter was featured on pages 9–11 in our Dartmoor Society Newsletter Number 51 and there was also a write up regarding a very successful Dartmoor Society walk incorporating Yennadon Quarry on Wednesday 11th June 2014 led by Liz Miall on pages 17–19 of the same Newsletter.

Looking at Yennadon Quarry’s current situation your valued support for this extremely essential, but also very discreet local enterprise is greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.

Tanya Welch
Honorary Secretary, The Dartmoor Society

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Letter by Tom Greeves in Support of Yennadon Quarry Expansion

Posted in Responses/Comments on Thursday 6th August 2015 at 10:47pm

James Aven
Dartmoor National Park Authority
Haytor Road
Bovey Tracey
TQ13 9JQ

4 August 2015

Dear James,

Applcn 0348/15 – Yennadon Quarry

I am writing on behalf of the Dartmoor Society which has a membership of some 450 persons. For seventeen years the Society has been an independent voice for those who find Dartmoor a source of livelihood or inspiration.

We fully support this application by Yennadon Quarry for modest expansion to allow fulfilment of its current planning permission to 2025. The application reaches to the heart of understanding and awareness of the cultural history and landscape of Dartmoor, and of sustainability and the wise use of resources.

Yennadon is the last active stone quarry working on moorland Dartmoor, out of scores that once existed. As such, it is a cultural icon and living heritage link to the previous generations of quarrymen and their families, who have shaped what is one of the finest cultural landscapes in the world.

Amazingly, this small-scale enterprise supports a workforce of twenty-seven. It provides stone for a wide area of west Devon and beyond, and is maintaining the historical value of Dartmoor which has always shared its resources (minerals, water, livestock etc) beyond the limits of Dartmoor itself. Its scale is entirely appropriate to modern Dartmoor and adds character to the Dartmoor landscape.

The proposed expansion poses no significant threat to archaeology, ecology or the wider landscape and, once the quarry has ceased working (2025), it will soon become an intriguing site, sitting quietly within a moorland setting. After abandonment, we advise that foundations of any structures within the quarry should be left undisturbed, for the education and interest of future generations.

This quarry is exactly the type of small-scale locally distinctive enterprise, making wise use of Dartmoor’s resources, that deserves widespread encouragement. We urge Dartmoor National Park Authority to approve this application.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Greeves MA PhD
Chairman, The Dartmoor Society

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