Registered Charity no. 1111066
independent voice for those who find Dartmoor a source of
livelihood or inspiration'
PO Box 38, Tavistock, Devon PL19 0XJ
AWARDS GIVEN AT 10TH ANNIVERSARY (2008) AGM OF THE DARTMOOR
a packed village hall at Postbridge on Saturday 5th April,
members of The Dartmoor Society marked the 10th Anniversary
of the Society.
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
Greeves mentioned the following as immediate issues of significant
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
A highlight of the afternoon was the presentation of two Awards:
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.
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 email@example.com, or visit www.dartmoorsociety.com.