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Taking the Woods to the Park


HERE’S sad news about Steward Community Woodland near Chagford within the Dartmoor National Park, their High Court challenge to the Planning Inspector’s Decision was turned down by a judge in December. A positive outcome from it is a result of the legal action the date when the Enforcement Notices require them to have taken down their structures and moved off the land has shifted from August 10 to December 2 2017, giving them another 4 months Steward to be able to find Community a solution to this by David situation. Spero The main downside is that it has left them with a legal bill of £13,000 – any support with this would be much appreciated. Their task now is to negotiate with the National Park and reconfigure the project in such a way that it can fit with Policy DMD30 (the Park’s policy on low impact development) with the intention of submitting a fresh planning application. Their next step is to write to the Park with ‘Pre-Application Inquiries’, asking them to set out clearly what type of structures they consider are acceptable under the policy, and seek to conform to them. Supporters of the sustainable community can join the ’Taking the Woods to the Park’ procession on Monday April 3 during the Easter school holidays, walking to the National Park HQ near Bovey Tracey along the Wray Valley Trail to deliver a petition calling on the Park to continue to allow them to live there and run the successful and much loved project. The Procession will start near Lustleigh – more details are yet to be announced. Organisers are seeking help. They will be organising transport from Moretonhampstead to the start of the Procession and back from the Park HQ.

Steward Community Woodland, near Chagford within the Dartmoor National Park, have had their legal challenge to the Planning decision turned down but they’re not beaten just yet.

Organisers said: “Although there is a serious message to the Procession, we invite a carnival atmosphere, creating a sense of celebration, community and solidarity. This is, after all, what we wish to see more of in this world. We invite you to bring banners, lots of colour, costume, and to be creative.” A day at the woods in the run up to the Procession is planned where both children & adults will be invited to create willow sculptures of creatures living in the woods (birds, insects, animals, etc) to take on the route. Although the threat to SCW is the central reason for the Procession, this is, of course, within the wider context of the Park’s policies and their implementation, and the state of the environment in general. If you haven’t done so already, please sign and share the petition to Dartmoor National Park www. visit for more information.

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Reconnect #47  
Reconnect #47