People often think that being a Ranger for Dartmoor National Park means that we spend all of our time out on the Moor looking after footpaths or talking to dog-owners or farmers. However, a very important aspect of our role is the community engagement and last week I was fortunate enough to be involved in two very different events within a couple of days and couple of miles of each other!
On the Sunday, I attended the very popular vintage tractor rally meeting at Yelverton airfield. The event saw a lot of families attend and gave the perfect opportunity to speak to people about visiting Dartmoor, keeping an eye on their dogs whilst walking on the Moor and generally helping with any guidance or information as required. Whilst the rally started at Yelverton they did a ten-mile circuit, in convoy, out around Burrator.
Then two days later I was invited to attend the opening of Gem bridge spanning the Walkham valley below Horrabridge. Gem Bridge was formally opened by Cllr Jeremy Yabsley, Devon County Council’s chairman and he was accompanied by children from Tavistock college, Tavistock, Horrabridge and Whitchurch primaries, the latter of whom won the design for the picnic area on the north end of the bridge where a time capsule was also buried. I also brought along local Horrabridge resident Barney Gawman who was one of the four man team who had dismantled the earlier bridge. Although the final link through Grenofen tunnel to Tavistock isn’t yet finished the bridge is already proving a popular attraction and surprisingly for such a large structure fits very gracefully into this gem of a valley.
Sector Ranger Paul Glanville