Kate AshbrookMore than 200 people joined a rally to demand access to Vixen Tor.

Kate Ashbrook

Ramblers’ Association chairman Kate Ashbrook addressed the campaigners, who want to be able to walk and climb on the Devon granite outcrop. Owner Mary Alford stopped the public using the site in 2003.

The rally was organised to support a recent application to the County Council for rights of way to be established across the land. Mrs Alford succeeded in having the site excluded from open access land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act.

She claims she would be held liable for any accidents on Vixen Tor – dubbed the Sphinx of Dartmoor – if she permitted public access.

She denies claims of the existence of public rights of way, saying there were only ever voluntary agreements between previous owners and Dartmoor National Park Authority. She says the tor is private land and she intends to keep it that way.

The RA said the turnout for the rally was ‘absolutely fantastic’.

Ms Ashbrook said: “It just shows how much people want the freedom on Vixen Tor.” The British Mountaineering Council and the Vixen Tor Action Group have joined the Ramblers in demanding access for walkers and rockclimbers.

The rally was the latest in a series of actions, including trespasses on to the area, in support of the campaign.