A Dartmoor Path Lost

The path in Dartmoor that some want to be reopened.

Walking the Old Ways

Once upon a time there used to be a public right of way running to the east of Dartmoor Prison, passing not far from the French and American War Cemeteries. Sometime ago, I can’t remember whether it was in the 1970s or the 1980s, it was officially closed at the request of the prison authorities.

I was one of the few who argued resistance to its closure. I was at the time a member of the Devon Area Council of the Ramblers Association. I tried to get the RA to oppose the closure, but I was outvoted.

Interestingly, it was the one occasion when I found myself on the opposite side to that great Dartmoor Preservationist (Lady) Sylvia Sayer. Sylvia argued that walkers might be alarmed if they saw prisoners. I thought she was wrong at the time. I still do. Walkers are tougher than that – they certainly were…

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