By: Blonde Two
Those of you lovely Blondees and Blondettes who have been reading our blog for a long time, will remember that during the hot weather last year (I know, but we did have some) there were a lot of problems with the way that people were using Dartmoor’s very beautiful and much loved Deeper Marsh area (more commonly known as Spitchwick).Spitchwick has been a favourite family picnic area for a long time, Blonde One can remember happy times there as a girl, I spent afternoons there when my family was young. Sadly, during the summer months, Spitchwick is becoming less beautiful and less safe for children because of the mindless behaviour of the people who now visit it.
Ranger Bill shared a list of Spitchwick issues with us that was upsetting to say the least; Spitchwick grass destroyed by disposable barbecues, Spitchwick trees ripped apart for firewood, tombstoning injuries, loud music, drunkenness, verbal abuse and bag after bag of Spitchwick litter to be picked up. We will tell you about the litter another day (it is a truly disgusting story).
The sign pictured in the foreground above is well made and easy to understand. It gives a clear message. Spitchwick is not for camping and it is not for open fires – simple really. I would like to be able to add that if you are a lout, a thug or a moron (sorry did I say that out loud) then Spitchwick is not for you either but Dartmoor is for everyone and should remain so. The sign has only been in place for three days, it was put there by Ranger Bill with help from our Gold DofE volunteers. It took the lads a long time to plant the sign (do you plant signs), much longer than you would imagine. This was because they had to dig out last year’s sign first. “What happened to last year’s sign?”, I hear you ask. Well, dear Blondees and Blondettes, you will be horrified but perhaps not surprised to hear that Mr Lout, Miss Thug and Master Moron broke it off and used it for firewood.
While our lads were working (I did help a bit), I asked them what they would do if they saw someone damaging their new sign. Their answers were emotive and not really printable!