|Nik - KOTM
Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
|Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:51 pm Post subject: Official reply concerning the aircraft crash site
|Bill Hitchins Chairman Kevin Bishop PhD Chief Executive (National Park Officer)
The purposes of the Dartmoor National Park Authority are to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park; and to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the area's special qualities.
In pursuing these purposes the Authority has a duty to seek to foster the economic and social well-being of the community.
A Member of the Association of National Park Authorities
Dartmoor National Park Authority
Removal of Aircraft Debris
Thank you for your enquiry about the removal of aircraft debris from Broad Down/Flat Tor
On 31 May 1965 a Sea Vixen plane from 776 Royal Navy Air Squadron crashed at Broad Down/Flat Tor Pan during a training flight. The pilots ejected safely. The larger parts of the plane were subsequently removed by the military and only a small amount of the debris now remains on Broad Down/Flat Tor Pan. This consists of a mixture of small fragments of metal, plastic and wire scattered over the surface of the blanket bog including an area where monitoring and restoration work is proposed as part of the Dartmoor Mires Project.
This Project will potentially have great public benefits, improving the condition of this internationally important site for biodiversity and the long term ability of Dartmoor’s blanket bog to store water and carbon.
As part of the Mires Project, it is proposed to install and fence hydrological equipment in two small areas (25m x 80m and 20m x 25m respectively) to monitor the effectiveness of restoration work.
In order to do this it is necessary to first check the area for unexploded
ordnance. The MoD have advised that any trace of iron here would interfere with the technique being used to check for unexploded ordnance. Hence the need to remove the debris in these areas.
Because the crash of the Sea Vixen forms part of Broad Down’s recent history, a methodology for removing the debris was drawn up by the Historic Environment Officer for
the Mires Project (MHEO) and the NPA’s Senior Archaeologist in consultation with Project partners including the Duchy of Cornwall (the land owners). In Dec 2011, the Mires Project Historic Environment Officer and the NPA’s Archaeologist collected and removed 2 bags of debris, following this methodology.
• Each cluster of fragments forming the debris has been photographed in-situ and the
exact location recorded using differential GPS.
• The 2 bags of debris are now stored at the Dartmoor National Park Authority offices
until long term arrangements are made (given the amount and nature of the
material, the Duchy of Cornwall does not consider it appropriate to put it back on
• A report on the removal of the debris will be drawn up with accompanying
photographs and maps showing their original location. The report will be added to the Historic Environment Record (HER) for Dartmoor.
Any future restoration work will also require checks for unexploded ordnance. Debris will only be removed where necessary and the MHEO will be present during the unexploded ordnance survey. In the vent that any archaeological or historical artefacts are uncovered, the agreed protocol will be followed.
Further information on the Dartmoor Mires Project can be found at
With best wishes.
Chief Executive (National Park Officer)
Nik 250 to go