All quiet

Its the start of Summer.  Peak season.  Yet WITC asks just one question.

Where is everyone?

Letterbox forums are quiet.   We have had two very quiet consecutive Meets.  Commoners are complaining about stock levels decreasing, and scrub levels increasing, restricting access to on the moor.

The National Park Management Plan on the DNPA website currently reports that visitor numbers are falling.  "Falling tourist numbers, particularly in serviced accommodation (hotels, b&bs, etc) are leading to reduced employment."

One of the joys of Dartmoor is the ability to escape the crowds even on the busiest Bank Holiday, and walk all day without seeing another soul.  Haytor car park will still be busy, as will Burrator and Postbridge.  These 'honeypot' sites on the moor have been developed by the National Park Authority, benefiting from investment in services and maintenance.

Images such as the one above of Yes Tor appear positively impossible to replicate, even on the busiest Summer days.

The economic conditions clearly are not helping - high petrol prices and cost of living make trips to the moor a luxury for some.  Whilst this was meant to bring about a boom in UK holidays - the 'Stay-cations', perhaps Dartmoor is not attracting big crowds.  Maybe the National Park's intentions to attract a younger, more diverse visitors is a long term plan.

Historically, Dartmoor is a popular National Park.  The OS Explorer Map OL28 featured in the top 10 best selling maps regularly.  Maybe other parks are attracting bigger crowds, seeking bigger things.  Let us hope that the National Park Authority have the right ideas and the clout to turn the situation around.

Dartmoor National Park Management Plan:

Yes Tor image: Source: The Dartmoor Quiz Book.  Barber, Chips; 1990.


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