Our restoration work is going well, with good re-growth of grass where we started rehabilitation of fire sites in 2020. But there is more to be done, as the next blog post will describe.
To avoid losing ground with damage happening faster than we can get it to recover, we are continuing the restriction on camping for the whole of 2021. Because in 2020 some people flouted the rule and continued to cause damage, we have bought into the Dartmoor Marshals scheme. This is an arrangement where security officers assist the National Park Authority to enforce byelaws and other regulations governing the safeguarding of the national part fabric and biodiversity.
Marshals are patrolling Piles frequently during evenings throughout the summer and early autumn. During the first patrol, in late May, they asked a large family group to move on from where they were pitching camp despite having read the signs asking them not to. We also noted in another location that someone had removed stones from a wall and made a fireplace: we repaired the wall and started the ground restoration a few days later.
Dartmoor Marshals on patrol at Piles on a May evening
It would be great if we could focus our conservation efforts on getting more trees growing rather than going around clearing up the wanton damage of people being irresponsible. We still wonder at the mentality of people who think that they can come and trash a pristine place, and leave it for someone to restore for nothing. Clearly a lot of our fellow citizens believe in fairies.