Author Archives: mattkellyski

Dartmoor Hill Farming in 1970

The BFI website has a fascinating short film about Dartmoor hill farming from 1970. It shows how farmers were experimenting with new methods and technologies and how they were conscious of the implications National Park status had for their work. … Continue reading

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How not to oppose rewilding.

Anton Coaker is probably the best-known Dartmoor farmer of our time. He is a regular columnist for the Western Morning News and often contributes to the excellent Dartmoor Magazine. He’s also written a couple of books about his experiences as a … Continue reading

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What is countryside for?

The English countryside is a contentious topic. Books about various aspects of English nature are being published at a terrific rate. There is a great deal of media attention and much below-the-line argument plus more blogging and tweeting than is … Continue reading

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Another mast for North Hessary Tor

It is today reported that the Development Management Committee of the Dartmoor National Park Authority has approved the application by Airband Community Internet Ltd to erect a 12 metre tele-communications mast just to the south-east of the existing television mast … Continue reading

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Ian Mercer (1933-2016)

I was saddened to learn today of the death of Ian Mercer. As Kate Ashbrook, author of his obituary (here), has said, he was one of the ‘giants’ of modern Dartmoor. I didn’t know Mercer personally and it is for others … Continue reading

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The Hillyfield and the Dartmoor National Park Authority. A Planning Dispute Gone Too Far.

In 2010, Doug King-Smith bought Hillyfield Plantation and Tom’s Brake, a 45-acre site of ancient broadleaf woodland and pasture on the southeast edge of Dartmoor. It’s a small, intimate site, quietly beautiful, and an exciting prospect for anyone keen to … Continue reading

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The Dartmoor Forestry Plan. Questioning Conventional Thinking

I’ve been reading the Forestry Commission’s Dartmoor Forestry Plan, now available online in its revised form following public consultation. It offers an admirably clear description of the FC’s holdings and its intentions. It’s here: The Plan is also an exercise … Continue reading

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