Swaling - The Staples

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Kenton Kestrel
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Swaling - The Staples

#1 Post by Kenton Kestrel » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:38 pm

There was lot of swaling going on today on the quarry side of The Staples. Anyone who has a box in that area may want to check on it's condition when next in the area.

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#2 Post by whoisthechallenger » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:47 am

Lots of swaling going on at the moment. Trying to beat the predicted rain I guess! Cosdon (Skaigh Warren end) and South Hessary areas burnt yesterday I hear.
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#3 Post by Kenton Kestrel » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:59 am

Going around Belstone Tor tomorrow. Hopefully no swaling going on or I will be finding some very misshapen pots!

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#4 Post by whoisthechallenger » Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:37 pm

I've just seen the pictures on BBC of the huge fire on Trendlebere Down above Yarner Wood that burnt kept firefighters busy today.

Irresponsible swaling in a Nature Reserve? Well THAT makes a change... :evil:
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#5 Post by Kenton Kestrel » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:53 am

I could see the smoke when on the A30, so it must have been a big fire.

Yesterday I was out and about around Belstone Tor. I could see that swaling had taken place between that tor and Scary Tor and a large area on the lower slopes of Corndon.

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#6 Post by Nik - KOTM » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:17 pm

I wonder just how much of it is swaling and how much is arson?
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#7 Post by whoisthechallenger » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:34 pm

March 19 2009: Multiple gorse fires on moors "some...started by local farmers" http://www.westbriton.co.uk/Gorse-fires ... story.html

March 21 2010: Failure to follow simple procedure for legitimate swaling by commoners. A second fire was started later the same day at the same place. https://yelvertonfirestation.wordpress. ... verbridge/

April 26 2011: Area size of 20 football pitches burning North of Postbridge. Cause being investigated. http://www.westbriton.co.uk/Huge-grass- ... story.html

March 30th 2012: Out of control swaling, Fire Brigaide attended near Prince Hall http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2878626

March 29th 2013: Strong winds fanned fire, which 10 commoners assisted fire service in extinguishing on Belstone Common http://www.dsfire.gov.uk/news/newsdesk/ ... 26&T2ID=35

April 12th 2014 Farmers and land owners on quad bikes help fire crews put out-of-control fire out near Princetown http://www.torquayheraldexpress.co.uk/k ... story.html

Search gorse fires on Dartmoor, and they have several things in common:
They mostly occur during Swaling season.
Long fronts, strong winds, no firebreaks...
Crimestoppers numbers are not provided, no arson witnesses are sought.
Farmers are on hand to assist.

Dartmoor National Park have a Swaling Code of Conduct (http://www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/lookinga ... of-conduct) which includes contacting various parties prior to burning and legal responsibilities.

I'm just saying... :?
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#8 Post by Kenton Kestrel » Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:22 pm

I drove up to Wind Tor today. Swaling had taken place on the lower reaches of Wind Tor (Corndon side) and then on the way back past Hay Tor it could be seen on Bag Tor Down, Black Hill and Haytor Down.

Is it me but doesn't there appear to be more going on this year than in recent years?

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#9 Post by Dartymoor » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:00 am

Most have probably seen in the news about the Trendlebeer fires last week - which I saw from Newton Abbot.

Word is that swaling got out of hand and involved the emergency services. I've also had word that there have been some fires closer to Haytor too, but I've not seen them myself.

Some awesome drone footage of the Trendlebeer fire here. Worth watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO3e5-c ... tube_gdata

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#10 Post by Kenton Kestrel » Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:38 pm

That footage is quite amazing. It certainly shows the problems faced by a fire crew trying to put it out.

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#11 Post by Nik - KOTM » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:31 pm

The areas of destruction are far too big, it is supposed to be limited to a certain size. I am convinced this is mostly arson.
There was a huge spate of it a few years ago, just after the swaling had been banned. And perhaps this has made the fires worse with more fuel for the fires being available, naturally.

Heaven only knows how many boxes have been destroyed.
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#12 Post by Box Hunter » Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:58 pm

Lots of little patches elsewhere as well. This week I've seen the results of swaling at:

Dr Blackall's Drive
East side of Barn Hill
Above Two Bridges, on the N side of the B3212/B3357 junction.
Patience helps....

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#13 Post by Kenton Kestrel » Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:57 pm

The swaling season came to an end on 31st March.

So you shouldn't in theory see smoke or a fire on the moor again before October! However, personally I wouldn't bet on it!!

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#14 Post by Dartymoor » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:08 pm

Nik - KOTM wrote:The areas of destruction are far too big, it is supposed to be limited to a certain size. I am convinced this is mostly arson.
Nope, swaling I'm afraid. Although - swaling by English Nature to improve the butterfly habitat at Trendlebeer, not the usual farmers.

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