Cramber Tor condemned – for 40 years

I shall be 98 when the Dartmoor National Park Authority next considers the future of military training on Cramber Tor.

That is the effect of the park authority’s surprising decision on 1 February.  The members did not grant permanent permission, they granted a ‘temporary’ permission – for 40 years, more than a generation.

But there is some comfort.  Members went against the planning officer’s recommendation because they know that the long-term aim for the Dartmoor National Park is to free it from damaging military training.  At least there will be a review, even if it is a long time in the future.

James Paxman, chief executive of the Dartmoor Preservation Association spoke at the meeting on behalf of the objectors.  He has recorded the outcome on his blog.

There are a number of conditions, including a requirement to notify the park authority of major exercises (involving more than 350 troops) so that the authority can warn the public.  An amendment from David Lloyd, to add a condition that the national park authority and the military should devise a system of notifying the public whenever training is to take place, was slammed by the officers as not being sufficiently specific (yet it is no less specific than some of the other conditions imposed).

Pyrotechnics, digging, low-flying and other damaging activities continue to be allowed.  But the fear is that the military will increase its use of the land, which it can do within the conditions.

Perhaps the park authority will celebrate the Dartmoor National Park’s centenary in 2051 by finally saying no to all military training there.

Cramber Tor range

Cramber Tor range



About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
This entry was posted in Access, Dartmoor, National parks, Open country and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Cramber Tor condemned – for 40 years

  1. Rupert says:

    Dear Kate

    I’m an absolute Dartmoor fanatic I read Crossing’s guide in the bath, I’ve made a point of running to every named tor on the moor accompanied by spaniel, except Vixen where I had a sudden loss of tresspassers courage.

    Are you in danger of painting an overly dramatic picture of the army’s impact on the Park, I can say with hand on heart having been up there hundreds of times that I’ve never had a moment spoiled by the men and women in green? Perhaps you may be disuading potential questers into the northern reaches?

    The only one thing I have found slightly irritating are the moronic red/white markers which seem to relate to a previous military age, they especially degrade the atmosphere of Flat tor.

    I fully appreciate your general efforts though and mention this in passing. The greatest threat to the spirit of the place of Devon and elsewhere is industrialisation by turbine, they make the impact of the army look positively benign.

    yrs Rupert

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