He has worked in Bosnia and Northern Ireland, tackling some of the most difficult situations in the world. He was a United Nations commander in the Balkans and chief of policy at Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers, Europe.

He’s Col Bob Stewart and you can see him meet his match this week when he tackles the vexed question of access to one of Devon’s top crags.

Col Stewart will try his hand at resolving the conflict of Vixen Tor on Channel Five’s At War With Next Door. Be warned: it’s not a pretty sight.

Vixen Tor enjoyed unrestricted access for climbers for more than 30 years until current owner Mary Alford banned the public from the area. Now the British Mountaineering Council, the Ramblers’ Association and local activists are trying to gain access to the crag again, after Mrs Alford won her case before an inspector under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act.

Channel Five, or simply five as it now likes to be known, will screen the hour-long documentary this Thursday, 21 December, at 8pm. Filming took place earlier this year. grough reported in August how two climbers taking part in the reconciliation open day were given just five minutes to leave their pitch and complained about the heavy-handed attitude of security staff hired by Mrs Alford.

According to five’s blurb, she says she has good reasons for forbidding public access to Vixen Tor; a local right-to-roam lobby strongly disagrees. Watch and make your own mind up.

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