Ramblers and climbers have been banned from accessing one of Dartmoor’s most historic sites. The beautiful Vixen Tor has now been closed off for good, after landowner Mary Alford won an eight-year battle to keep walkers off her land. Her victory comes after a long fight with walkers, who staged a series of mass trespasses to protest against its closure. No go area: The picturesque Vixen Tor, on Dartmoor, is now out of bounds to visitors after a planning inspector ruled for landowner Mary Alford A planning inquiry ruled in favour of Mrs Alford, who bought 360 acres of land around the site in 2003 and immediately closed off access to it by putting up fences and spraying parts of it with manure. She said she wanted to seal off the area because she was worried about insurance claims. It is the second inquiry that the landowner has won. A previous one, which is seen as one of the most important test cases for the Right to Roam legislation, ruled that the public did not have an automatic right of way. But Devon County Council insisted that two paths across the land should remain open, leading to this case. Out of bounds: Vixen Tor has been closed off to ramblers and hikers after an eight year battle Winner: Mary Alford has won her battle in keeping walkers off her land at Vixen Tor Inspector Mark Yates ruled in Mrs Alford’s favour, despite hearing evidence from hikers that they used the paths unimpeded for many years before 2003. He said there was not enough evidence to show that the paths had been a public right of way for an unbroken 20 year period. The order to open the path, which has now been rescinded, was made by Devon County Council who were supported by the Ramblers Association and the British Mountaineering Council. A total of 59 people gave oral or written accounts of using the paths in the 70s. But documents found by Mrs Alford suggested there had been times when the path had not been used.
Mr Yates added: ‘Overall I accept that people have walked to Vixen Tor and used routes through the enclosure. ‘However, I am not satisfied that, on balance, the evidence of public use of the order route, either in whole or part, presented to the inquiry is sufficient to demonstrate the dedication of this route at common law.’ A Devon County Council spokesman said: ‘The inspector has issued his decision not to confirm the order. ‘The decision can be viewed on the Planning Inspectorate website.’ The Tor is one of the highest and most dramatic on Dartmoor and its rocky peak has often been described as a naturally carved sphinx. It also has a Bronze Age kistvaen – or burial chamber – further down the slope.
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If the land has historic or tourist value places in it, it should not have been sold. Someone needs to sue the land planning commission or whatever they call it. England’s kistavens and tourist sights like the Vixen Tor, belong to everyone and sales of this sort that impede historical or tourist travel should not be allowed. Suggest that the specific 1-20 acres covering the Bronze age burial sites and Tor itself should have a single path (easement of access) for accessing these PUBLIC places of interest. A rare kistaven or a well loved geological form like a decades traveled to Tor, are common heritage of all English that need to be accessible to all, not a single family or a single owner. Spirit of Law remember? England is not about places that cannot be accessed, because of inflexible laws. Voters, better vote properly or this PC rubbish will get so bad that stepping out of your house at certain times will be deemed an offense as well. In fact it’s already happening in the worst of the 3rd world, so we need England’s example, before it turns into a 3rd world satrapy due to the English voter’s ignorant voting skills.