Dartmoor Preservation Association
Friends of Dartmoor
The one-day conference on "A Better Future for Devon's Birds" was jointly organised by the DPA and Devon Birds. 220 delegates packed the Exeter racecourse conference centre to hear about the current state of Devon's birds from national and local experts - and most importantly what we can do to reverse the declines.
We heard first from Stella Beavan and Mike Lock, editors of the new Devon Bird Atlas, which will be published in the New Year. This painstaking work updates the Sitters Devon Bird Atlas of thirty years ago which is the baseline for what has happened in Devon. In summary, there have been 11 species gains (mostly water birds); 34 species are increasing ( including the raven, and the siskin); and 52 have shown no change. But there is no ground for complacency; 60 species show significant decreases and there have been 9 losses from Devon, including the nightingale, black grouse, tree sparrow and corn bunting. Amongst the decreases are the kingfisher and lapwing.
Below is the text of a Press Release from Dartmoor National Park about a meeting that was held on 12th October. It was attended by the DPA Chair and Director who both came away reassured by the professionalism of Airband and their sensitive approach to the landscape and installation process. This is an opportunity to understand an important programme, which has the full support of the Dartmoor and Exmoor NPAs.
12 October 2015
Dartmoor businessmen and women are invited to join Dartmoor National Park at a meeting on 28 October to hear how Superfast Broadband is being brought to Dartmoor through the 'Connecting Dartmoor and Exmoor' superfast project.
Good internet access is important for many people, whether to do business, to learn or to shop. Dartmoor National Park is committed to supporting its communities access superfast broadband, and to achieve
this we are working closely with the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme team.
The 'Connecting Dartmoor and Exmoor' Superfast Broadband Project, forms part of phase 2 of the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme. Announced in July 2015, it will deliver a dedicated programme of superfast broadband coverage specifically across Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks by working with Airband, a specialist in high speed wireless broadband solutions for remote rural areas. The project is expected to connect some 5,800 homes and businesses and bring superfast coverage to an estimated 96% of premises by the end of 2017, with the majority of delivery currently expected in 2016.
Jo Rumble, Communities Officer, Dartmoor National Park, said:
'This is an opportunity for Dartmoor's business people to get together to hear how Dartmoor is getting better connected. The 'Connecting Dartmoor and Exmoor' project is bringing a superfast broadband service to the door of some of our most remote homes and businesses, making it easier to live and work on Dartmoor'.
The meeting will be held at the National Park headquarters, Parke, Bovey Tracey. Coffee and Tea will be available from 6.30 pm and the event will start at 7 pm. The meeting will last no more than two hours
For more information contact Miss Jo Rumble, Communities Officer,
Allowing housing association tenants to buy will remove affordable homes.
In recent months, there has been a lot of publicity about the threats facing national parks. Now there is another issue looming which, though less well-publicised, could create as big a problem as funding cuts, potash mines, or telecommunications masts.
This is the Government’s plan to give the tenants of housing associations the right to buy their properties – and it could have catastrophic consequences for Dartmoor’s rural communities.
The right for council tenants to buy at substantial discounts was introduced by the Thatcher Government in the 1980s, but it did not apply those in housing association homes. The present Government intends to pass legislation that will extend the right to buy to 1.3million housing association tenants, at a discount of up to £77,000 per property.
Greg Clark, the Communities Secretary, claims that this will create a level playing field, increase house building and reduce social housing waiting lists. A closer examination suggests otherwise.
There is already a shortage of open-market housing in rural areas, which suffer from lower-than-average wages and higher house prices – on average 26% higher than in urban areas – as commuters, holiday home owners and retirees compete to push up prices. In the national parks the premium on house prices is even higher. Many young people on low incomes have been priced out of the property market and driven to seek housing outside the region, denying rural businesses the staff they need.
Dartmoor Matters Issue 188 - Autumn 2015
- The Flora and Fauna of High House Waste
- A Better Future for Devon's Birds
- Car-nage on the Moor
- The Ancient Tenements of Dartmoor - Babeny Farm
- The Dartmoor Conservation Garden Launch
- DPA News
- Rumblings from the Chair