Saturday, 16 October 2010


It all started for us with a trip to the Swincombe valley a few months ago. One of WITC stumbled upon an incribed stone on the hillside and found no mention of it on the map. The incription was of the letters DPA in an oval. It looked modern in design. Cue head scratching all round. Was it a memorial? Was it to do with Dartmoor Prison? The Dartmoor Park Authority?

An internet search at home later that day provided answers. Dartmoor Preservation Association. A charity that is dedicated to the protection of artefacts, access rights and Dartmoor's heritage. Also of the promotion of considered development and a close relationship with Dartmoor National Park Authority.

Why does this charity have a boundary stone near the River Swincombe? It turns out that they own this land. They purchased it from South West Water in 1985 after plans to build a reservoir in the valley fell through. They actually have 10 boundary stones which border the 50 acres they possess.

Interestingly, the DPA also own the summit area of Sharpitor (again surrounded by DPA boundary stones) and High House Waste near the River Yealm.
It is clear from evidence provided by Tim Sandles' excellent 'Legendary Dartmoor' website that the DPA supported the Ring Road closure. We were curious as to whether the DPA supported letterboxing. So it was coincidental that on the next walk WITC did, we found in one pot a leaflet advertising membership. With respect to Tim's arguments, we generally support their policies and will carefully consider membership.

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