Editor's Blog

Dartmoor Access Forum Joint Training Day

I had an interesting day out last week with the Dartmoor Access Forum (of which I am a member) on a joint training day with Devon Countryside Access Forum. DAF meets a couple of times a year to discuss access issues on and around the moor, and we have a training day in the summer. We met in Yelverton for coffee then made our way to Clearbrook to view the ‘new’ access ramp for Drake’s Trail. Issues arising from different user expectations and demands on multi-use trails were discussed on the ground: so much better than doing so when sitting around a table!

Multi-use sign on Drake's Trail, Lower Goodameavy

Multi-use sign on Drake’s Trail, Lower Goodameavy

We kept having to make way for passing cyclists, a clear demonstration of the popularity of the trail (an estimated 500 people per day at weekends on this stretch). Fittingly Dartmoor National Park launched their new Cycling Code of Conduct last week: the overall message being that all road and trail users need to show consideration for other users at all times, and act responsibly and legally.



Next it was off to Buckland Monachorum to see the results of their Paths for Parish Landscapes work: the restoration of a useful link path near the church, which was been upgraded and made suitable for all users. The photo shows the way a granite Devon stile has been effectively bypassed and an unobtrusive new surface laid. A great example of a successful community project for the benefit of all.


Our day ended on Roborough Down where we listened to Tracey Weaver, a West Devon/South Hams Dog Warden, talk about her work and the well-reported issues with dogs in our area.

A fascinating and highly educational day all round. If you are interested in joining DAF new members will be sought this September: email localaccessforum@dartmoor.gov.uk, or visit www.dartmoor.gov.uk to find out more. DAF works independently of the National Park but Authority staff attend our meetings and facilitate our training days.