Showing posts from April, 2016

Battle Plans: Part VII - Ceasefire?

Every year, normally in November, a formal meeting takes place of the Dartmoor Steering Group.  This collective of stakeholders discuss the military involvement within the National Park.  Participants include the National Park Authority, Natural England, English Heritage, the Duchy of Cornwall, Dartmoor Commoners Council and various parties from within the Ministry of Defence (MOD).  I have blogged regularly about their progress since the release of an Integrated Rural Management Plan (IRMP) in which the MOD indicated their approach to maintaining the ranges over a 10 year period 2010 to 2020 (available here).  In 2010, intentions were made to - amongst many other things - limit the visual impact of the military by:
- Removing 3 flagpoles in the Okehampton Training area, with Yes Tor being a priority for removal, along with Blackdown.  Roos Tor flagpole in the Merrivale range would be removed too.
- Combining Watern Oke Flagpole with a 'look-out'.

- Relocating Walkham Spur flagp…

A new plan for Dartmoor's forests

April Fools Day was the last of the 28 day consultation period for Dartmoor's new Forest Plan.  'The what?', you may ask.  The Forestry Commission are defining their long term vision for Dartmoor's forests including Bellever, Fernworthy, Soussons and Brimpts.  These four plantations account for about 1.5% of the total National Park area.  Their plan sets out how the woods will be managed for the next decade or so.

Felling, thinning, restocking, species composition, protection of artifacts, public access and recreation, are all covered by the forest plan.  So what have the Forestry Commission (FC) got in store?

Their proposals seek to maintain the Public Forest Estate in line with current forestry policy... blah blah blah... Yawn.

The two key changes that I noted from the Plan are:
1. Up to 10% of the FC's wooded area to become permanent open space through forest clearance. These cleared patches include the high profile Fernworthy forest skyline distantly visible fro…