By: Blonde One

Dartmoor, as we all know, is a varied and interesting place and the more you know, the more you want to find out. It’s fascinating and The Two Blondes both wish that we could give up ‘the day job’ to spend more time on Dartmoor. A recent discovery however, had me feeling a little bit disgruntled about my favourite place! Let me explain …

Dartmoor is divided into areas of common land (handily called the Commons). Generally speaking the middle of the moors was originally forest and the surrounding areas were divided into commons: Chagford Common, Belstone Common, etc. These areas are all owned by someone and give local people certain rights. These rights are quite handy (if you have livestock). A local is allowed to graze their animals on the Commons, they are allowed to let their pigs eat there and they are allowed to use natural products (peat and wood) for fuel. This all sounds great, I hear you cry. What an earth is Blonde One getting upset about, I hear you cry. Why is Blonde One disgruntled, I hear you cry. Well, the reason I’m a bit miffed about it, is that these rights apply to anyone born in Devon … except … people born in Totnes or Barnstaple. Guess where I was born … Totnes!!!!! It’s a disgrace! Totnesians and Barnstaplians are just as Devonian as the rest. We are loyal, proud residents of Devon. Why, oh why, should we be treated this way? Like I said at the beginning, one piece of information lead me to want to know more and I have conducted some research into this unwarranted discrimination (in my opinion!). But all to no avail. It seems that this little snippet of information has been secreted away somewhere, never to be seen again. In my head I am imagining some stroppy farmers (yes, believe it or not, there are some!) having a bit of a row with a Totnesian or Barnstaplian about how many pigs are snuffling around on his land. This row got all out of hand and led to a total ban for the good folk of Totnes or Barnstaple! I may well have got carried away with my imagination here but until I have evidence to the contrary, that’s the theory I’m going with! If you know of any valid reason why I should be exempt from these rights, please let me know, but in the meantime I am going to be totally rebellious and continue to graze my livestock (I like to call them teenagers) on common land!