The Zone 8 Photographic Society



First & Past President: Kenneth A Nelson, Hon.FZPS ...............Founder/Administrator: Brian SL Allen, Hon.FZPS, AHFAP


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UPDATED: Sunday, 27 September, 2015 16:27


Registered Charity no. 1111066

'an independent voice for those who find Dartmoor a source of livelihood or inspiration'
PO Box 38, Tavistock, Devon PL19 0XJ


In a packed village hall at Postbridge on Saturday 5th April, members of The Dartmoor Society marked the 10th Anniversary of the Society.

Dr Tom Greeves, chairman of the Society since its foundation, summed up the many achievements of the Society as 'quality, consistency and integrity' regarding information about, and discussion of, Dartmoor issues. He singled out its pioneering annual debates, through which the Society had been the first to address many topics not previously discussed in an open public forum - such as renewable energy, the state of vegetation, military use of the moor, the 40 mph speed limit, tourism, the historic importance of 19th and 20th century buildings, the chinaclay industry, the future of Dartmoor villages, and the very concept of national park designation. With a membership of nearly 600, the Society was in a strong position for the future.

Dr Greeves mentioned the following as immediate issues of significant concern:

The increasing growth of vegetation and the future of hillfarming. The stranglehold of Natural England/Defra needs to be broken, and control and responsibility for management of the commons given back to the graziers.

Renewable energy – it is extraordinary that Dartmoor National Park Authority have still not produced a renewable energy 'plan' for Dartmoor, when Dartmoor undoubtedly has the capacity to produce sufficient environmentally friendly energy to meet the needs of the resident population (35,000 people) of the national park.

Housing and the consumption of resources – DNPA are still allowing far more new dwellings to be built than allocated in the County Structure Plan. But these errant decisions pale into insignificance given the Government's proposals for thousands of new houses in Devon as a whole. These will almost certainly greatly increase demand for water and other resources of the moor, will strain traffic capacity and services in general, and will increase the recreational impact of visitors.

Democracy – the Society has drawn attention to the fact that none of the 35,000 residents of DNPA can go to a polling booth and vote for a candidate putting themselves up for direct election to Dartmoor National Park Authority, despite that authority having probably the greatest influence on their lives and surroundings. It is to be hoped that others will become aware of this 'black hole' in the British democratic process.

Crownhill Down –Wolf Minerals plan to reopen the tungsten/wolfram mine at Hemerdon near Plymouth. This will potentially have a devastating affect on a huge area of lovely open moorland and its associated rich archaeology.

The Guest Speaker was Chris Gregory, Deputy Land Steward of the Duchy of Cornwall, who spoke about the management of the Dartmoor estate, focussing especially on farming and the future of Princetown.

A highlight of the afternoon was the presentation of two Awards:

1. The Dartmoor Society Award for 2007 was presented to Mrs Eileen Webber of Chagford for her late husband, Eric Webber (1918-2007), who had run the 110-year old family business in Chagford for nearly 60 years. The inscription on the beautiful plate handcrafted by Penny Simpson (potter) and Susanne Haines (calligrapher) states that the award recognises 'his dedicated service to the community'. Dr Tom Greeves said that Webbers shop was a 'shining example of a successful local business' and that the Award reflected the Society's interest in the social and economic wellbeing of Dartmoor communities and all those who seek a livelihood from the moor.

2. The Dartmoor Society Award for 2008 was presented to Chris Chapman. Dr Tom Greeves paid tribute to Chris Chapman's work over more than three decades, stressing how, through his sensitivity and empathy, he had managed to capture the essence of Dartmoor's rugged way of life. He was a superb craftsman and also very generous-hearted – talents which shone through his unrivalled work. The inscription on his plate reads 'for his outstanding documentary photography of people and place'.

1. The Dartmoor Society, a registered charity (no. 1111066), was formed in 1998 to be 'an independent voice and a forum for debate for those who find Dartmoor a source of livelihood or inspiration'. Its charitable objects are primarily educational in the broadest sense.
2. The annual Awards are given to those who have, in the opinion of the Society, made a special contribution to Dartmoor.
2. For further information, please contact Tom Greeves on 01822 617004 or, or visit

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