Sunday, 16 January 2011

Vixen Tor and other restrictions

Hmmm... WITC are reconsidering their Tor owning ambitions (see post 18th October 2010).

Vixen Tor continues to make the news. Access to this peak was closed to walkers in 2003. The owners decided that if they can own a Tor that it was too dangerous for walkers and climbers to visit it. Prior to 2003, paths were open to the public for decades and evidence suggests that historic rights of way passed the tor. Citing insurance reasons, barbed wire and keep out signs now surround the spectacular rock pile.

Attempts made by UN negotiator Colonel Bob Stewart, a Channel 5 documentary, the British Mountaineering Council, several mass tresspasses and Dartmoor National Park all failed to resolve the matter. Devon County Council's recommendation to allow public access to the Tor was successfully appealed by the owner. Then the Planning Inspectorate began a public inquiry into the issue. First the inquiry ran out of time to hear all the evidence, then the resumption of the hearing was cancelled due to December's adverse weather. News broke last week that yet another new date for the continued hearing has been scheduled for July 2011.

This made us think of Dave Bellamy's brazenly cheerful "accessing" activity on his web-page: http://www.davebellamy.co.uk/Views/tors_with_restricted_access.asp. Lets hope that July brings a successful conclusion to Vixana's sorry saga, and that we can finally lawfully hike to Vixen Tor, eh Dave?

2 comments:

Dave.B said...

Well, I've never benn called "brazenly cheerful" before! And as my site shows, I've not yet been to Vixen Tor. Of the 2 or 3 inaccessible tors that I have visited, I damaged nothing, and left without leaving a trace. Indeed, my presence there was markedly less apparent than that of the native fauna.
You do put a very negative slant on my otherwise benign pursuit. Why is that?

W.I.T.C. said...

Hi Dave. OK, we avoided the term illegal but we did not explicitly support your efforts either. In fact we'll stand guard at the gate and keep watch, if thats all right with you!

The fact that all previous attempts to reach Vixen Tor have been treated as trespassing, and although I cannot confirm it, the words 'Keep Off' have been scrawled on the granite itself. Lawful right to roam at Vixen Tor is out of the question now.