Dartmoor Preservation Association
Friends of Dartmoor
The good news is that the walk to the Mires Project on Thursday 25th September is not as far as we had advertised. It is 5 km each way, a total of 10 km or just over 6 miles in total.
Sorry for any confusion and we hope that the shorter distance will encourage even more members to come and find out more about this project for themselves.
At nearly 5km and removing up to 36 poles, the Walkhampton scheme is the largest to be undertaken in the South West region by Western Power Distribution. The old overhead line was readily visible from the B3212 Princetown to Yelverton Road, strung across Walkhampton Common from Devil's Elbow to just above Horseyeatt at Peek Hill. The works to provide the new underground supply were mainly undertaken on the highway to minimise the impact on the sensitive moorland landscape, its archaeology, wildlife and livestock.
James Paxman stepped down as CEO of the DPA on 30 June 2014, and has been succeeded as Director by Phil Hutt.
James was presented with a hand crafted shepherd's crook made from a Dartmoor ram's horn and a hazel stick at the AGM on 24 May. The crook has a silver collar, inscribed "JP with gratitude from the DPA 2014". About 20 DPA regulars met in the Prince of Wales pub at Princetown on 30 June to mark James' last day. DPA President, Colin Turner, recalled that James had worked for the DPA for eight years, including six as CEO. In that time, thanks to his personality and dedication, the DPA had been transformed. James's legacy was an internally united and happy organisation, exemplified by the conservation volunteers, and externally the DPA's reputation with all the various stakeholders was at a high level.
We understand that James and Jackie do not intend to move from Dartmoor, and we hope that they will continue to contribute to local causes in one guise or another.
Phil Hutt is our new Director working 3 days a week from the office in Princetown. He has an MBA and a law degree, and worked at senior level in the aerospace and defence industries including Normalair-Garrett Ltd, Smiths Industries and GE Aviation. Since retiring from full time work Phil has been on the board of Devon and Cornwall Housing Association, and Project Manager for the Colyton Parish History Society, responsible for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant application. Working with the Trustees, Phil will bring new perspectives and ideas to the DPA to maintain the momentum of the last few years.
DPA volunteers started work on this project on 19th Nov 2012 in bad weather, there were no photographs and no report on the DPA blog! The project is butterfly conservation at Common Wood, “near Horndon”.
This is an isolated woodland with scrub extending up the valley sides of the River Tavy and it is here, under favourable conditions, that the declining Pearl-bordered Fritillary can breed.
Volunteers returned to survey the site on two occasions recently (June 2014), on the first visit they counted nine Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries in the allotted hour, and, on the second visit they recorded a staggering twenty-two. It is possible that some were repeat sightings but this indicates a substantial underlying population.