The Dartmoor Way project was conceived back in 1999 with the aim of creating both
cycling and walking routes around Dartmoor. A Steering Group was formed that comprised
of representatives from the Dartmoor National Park Authority, local business's and
members of the cycling and walking communities.
This resulted in the both the cycling and walking routes being set up by 2002.
The cycling route was waymarked but funding restrictions meant the walking route
was map and description only. The route also only circled the Northern half of
Dartmoor as it was felt at that time that this offered the best of Dartmoor scenically.
The route remained in this form through to 2010 when a few members of the original
steering group made the decision to re launch and revitalize the routes. It was decided
as well to completely circle the Dartmoor and use the original route that crossed the
centre of the Moor to be incorporated as a ‘High Moor Link' enabling 2 smaller circles
to be undertaken or a figure of eight.
The cycle route was re launched in 2013 with Sustrans acting as the umbrella organization
overseeing the project. The Dartmoor Way shares NCN routes 27, 272 and 28. A website,
www.dartmoorway.co.uk, with downloadable 1:50k OS map sections, route description and
other features was launched together with a brochure that is distributed widely around
the TIC's, accommodation providers etc.
Now, 10 years on, the Dartmoor Way walking route has been created and launched. This has
been a more ambitious project than the cycling route primarily because the whole route
has had to be waymarked from scratch. As with the cycling route, the new walking trail
now completely circles the Moor. This is a joint DNPA/Ramblers project and the Dartmoor
Way CIC (Community Interest Company) has been formed to create the route. Funds have been
garnered from Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust, Totnes Ramblers Franklin Legacy, the
National Lottery Community Fund, Pennon Environmental Fund and other smaller contributions.
Members from the assorted Ramblers Groups around Dartmoor have helped with the
waymarking and will provide the ongoing route maintenance. DNPA have installed new posts
where extra signage is required and the National Trust, Woodland Trust and Natural
England, whose properties the route passes through, have all played their part in
helping to set the route up.
TOTNES RAMBLERS FRANKLIN LEGACY
Mr Edward Franklin was a member of Totnes Ramblers who
provided a legacy bequest, requesting that funds be used for the benefit of
the group. Totnes Ramblers encourage members to submit ideas for projects to
use the Franklin fund and a sub committee reviews opportunities and decides
which ones to pursue. Larger projects are brought back to the main committee
and/or members for approval.
There have been several projects to date and an early project was the creation
of the Franklin Totnes Trail, an approx. 7-mile circular walk around Totnes.
Other completed projects, working with local organisations, include:
installing new steps along a stretch of the South West coastal path; new
gates and path surface on some permissive paths across the Dartington
estate; placing a granite clapper bridge across a stream (which previously
required wading) on the Two Moors Way.
Following a special meeting of Totnes Ramblers, substantial
funding was agreed for the Dartmoor Way with the Totnes contribution helping kick
start the project.
Totnes Ramblers' website details can be found
Much of the work way-marking the route and help with ongoing maintenance of
the Dartmoor Way has been carried out by various Ramblers Association groups
together with other walking groups based near Dartmoor. A special thanks
needs to be extended to these group as without their help, the setting up
of the route would not have been possible. They are:
Groups from the Ramblers: Totnes, South Devon, Moorland, Tavistock, Plymouth;
Other Walking Groups: Bovey Tracey Ramblers, Okehampton Rambling Club, Newton