Fingle Bridge Inn

I was at the Fingle Bridge Inn near Drewsteignton a couple of nights ago to give my talk on ‘The Elephant in the Uplands and a tale of two narratives’ – based on this paper – see here. If you want any more details on the atmospheric pollution issue and the science behind it see my various blogs on the topic here.

I also took this photo of the Inn which I rather like!

4 thoughts on “Fingle Bridge Inn

  1. Thank you, Adrian. Lovely photo and our favourite pub. Now to read the paper. Sorry we missed the talk.
    John Elphinstone.

  2. Hi Adrian
    Thanks for your talk last Thursday Adrian, most interesting and thought provoking, sorry we had to leave before I could raise these ideas with you….and you were also in high demand. So I would like to share some of my thoughts with you by e-mail.

    1. How wet is the Moor? I have been walking the moors for 50 years, initially as a Scout (living in Plympton) in the mid-60’s. I was out most w/ends with fellow Scouts walking and wild camping. We loved it. Most of those walks went out of Ivybridge or South Brent in the direction of Princetown and sometimes further north, to avoid Chins Clay works. (the Plym was always white in those days). As I remember, it was much wetter under foot in those days, particularly around Nun’s Cross Farm. Maybe this is a Molinia effect? Ie the thatch prevents/reduces penetration (Adrian I know 10 Tors is one of your interests, it was just getting going in those days but me and my mates…whom I am still in contact with, thought it was too tame!! The arrogance of youth)
    2. Molinia Control idea. I’m not an ecologist or similar, I spent my career in agricultural R&D doing and later managing field trials, in UK and aboard. You suggested husbandry approaches might be used to get Molinia under control. That may well work. I also think it is worth trying some conventual chemical approaches. Last Thursday the suggestion of using Lime to reduce Molinia was rejected (and I can sort of understand that logic) but what about the use of selective graminicides? There is a battery of chemicals out there that might well selectively kill Molinia without touching the broadleaved species. Some are even considered environmental benign, so I find it hard to come up with a sound ecological reason why it is not worth a try.
    3. Other possible treats to the moor. Adrian we touched on this a week or two ago. Belstone, Bittaford, Bridford, Buckfast, Cheriton Bishop/Cross, Christow, Cornwood, Crockernwell, Dean / Dean Prior, Dousland, Drewsteignton, Dunsford (where I am a local Councillor), Hennock, Holne, Ilsington, Liverton, Lustleigh, Lydford, Manaton, Mary Tavy, Meavy, Murchington, North Bovey, North Brentor, Peter Tavy, Postbridge, Scoriton, Shaugh Prior, Sourton, South Tawton, South Zeal, Sticklepath, Throwleigh, Walkhampton, Whiddon Down, Widecombe-in-the-Moor are all currently classified as Rural Settlements by the DNPA and therefore protected by Policy DMD22. This states that….. Unless identified in the settlement proposals, no new open market housing will be permitted in the Rural Settlements. All new housing will need to be affordable and located on small infill plots within an existing built frontage and within the settlement or provided through the acceptable conversion of an existing building. Exceptionally, where a specific parish need for affordable housing has been identified, then development tailored to meet those needs will be permitted on suitable land within or adjoining the settlement and well related to its existing built form. ….Affordable housing is defined as: Social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market.
    It could be argued that this policy has prevented some of these Settlements becoming more developed with open market housing aimed at the more affluent, often retired sector of the population that wants to move into the countryside. However it has also been a handicap for affordable housing development aimed at meeting local working family’s needs (one highly notable exception is the recent development in Christow). That is a great exception because the land was sold to the Community Land Trust of £1. This also permitted the development to be of the highest specification ie they are Passivhaus. I am aware of situations where Affordable Housing Development has not happened on the Moor because the land price was too high to allow the Developer to just put up Affordable Houses, and make a profit. For this reason I believe DNPA (and others) are looking at how to rectify this situation/change the policy. Only this week we have heard National Government saying Developers must do more to create the required homes. I support the need for more of the right type of homes in the right place but those of us who love Dartmoor (and other similar areas of outstanding natural beauty), must be on guard against the wrong type of housing development deregulation. You might also have seen a similar related article on CountryFile last night.

    Sorry to go on for so long. I would be interested to hear your views on these topics.

    Best regards Paul

    • Paul – thanks for the email.
      1. Regarding wetness – its a good question. I’m not sure about the Molinia effect – maybe in place it acts as a thatch. Also there is much concern about peat compaction through historic overgrazing – this has affected the hydrological porosity (again I think this has been exacerbated by nitrogen pollution acidifying the soil and depleting the soil fauna. The DNPA feel that the moor has dried out in places and is running their Mires Project to ‘restore’ the peat see here https://adriancolston.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/restoring-dartmoors-blanket-bogs/
      2. Yes selective herbicides can be used and have been used – the issue is the sheer scale of Dartmoor and the need of follow up cattle grazing in the summer. More information here https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/marsden-moor-estate/features/managing-molinia – download the document at the foot of the page.
      3. Affordable housing – couldn’t agree more but it is not my area of expertise.
      Hope that helps
      Adrian

  3. Pingback: Atmospheric pollution, grazing numbers and soil compaction – A Dartmoor blog

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