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2 January 2004
Ramblers protest at tor

Ramblers have held a mass trespass on one of Dartmoor's most popular landmarks to protest over its closure. As we reported last December, Vixen Tor at Merrivale (Cornwall, England) was shut to the public when a new landowner bought it earlier last year. Mary Alford closed the tor after the insurers said she could be liable if someone injured themselves in the area, which includes several ancient monuments.
     Rambler Richard Doswell, who was one of about 20 ramblers at the tor, said: "We are not causing any damage, we are simply exerting our rights to walk on part of Dartmoor National Park." Following the closure, a walker reported Mrs Alford to the Department for Rural Affairs (Defra), alleging that fertiliser had been spread on the moorland around the tor. Defra investigated and Mrs Alford has now been charged with carrying out land improvements without an environmental impact assessment. The assessments are required by law so that rare plants, wildlife and archaeology can be protected from potential damage caused by any working of land.

Source: BBC News (1 January 2004)

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