In a week when Defra launched its three-month consultation on coastal access, there is still unresolved business inland.
Vixen Tor, the Dartmoor crag from which the public is excluded following a ruling under the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act, is the centre of a campaign backed by both the Ramblers’ Association (RA) and the British Mountaineering Council (BMC).
The RA wants to hear from anyone who accessed the site before 2003, when its present owners bought the land and put up fences and keep-out signs. The BMC says walking and climbing took place there regularly for 40 years prior to this and the RA is hoping to build up a case for access.
Farmer Mary Alford demanded £35,000 a year for allowing public access after Dartmoor National Park Authority offered £1,500. Further negotiations aimed at gaining access to the landmark, near Merrivale, have so far been unsuccessful.
The RA questionnaire, which is available online, asks how many visits have been made, by which route and whether any signs were seen. The BMC is also setting up a South West Action Group, which will meet on 4 July to discuss Vixen Tor, among other issues.