Ramblers protest at tor

Tony Gosling tony at gaia.org
Wed Jan 7 12:28:50 GMT 2004

Ramblers protest at tor

Vixen Tor: Reclaimed by ramblers 
Ramblers have held a mass trespass on one of Dartmoor's 
most popular landmarks to protest over its closure. 
Vixen Tor at Merrivale was shut to the public when a new 
landowner bought it earlier this year. 

Mary Alford closed the tor after the insurers said she 
could be liable if someone injured themselves in the area. 

Rambler Richard Doswell, who was one of about 20 ramblers 
at the tor on Thursday, said: "We are not causing any 
damage, we are simply exerting our rights to walk on part 
of Dartmoor National Park." 

Following the closure, a walker reported Mrs Alford to the 
Department for Rural Affairs (Defra), alleging that 
fertiliser had been spread on the moorland around the tor. 

Defra investigated and Mrs Alford has now been charged 
with carrying out land improvements without an 
environmental impact assessment. 

The assessments are required by law so that rare plants, 
wildlife and archaeology can be protected from potential 
damage caused by any working of land. 

Ms Alford declined to comment on the trespass. 


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