“ I have never before, in my long and eclectic career, been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced filming War Horse on Dartmoor.” Steven Spielberg.

Fire Fogger for Shaugh Prior Common

As part of ongoing work promoted by the Dartmoor Fires Partnership to develop a Dartmoor wide Fire Plan along with suitable equipment to combat wildfires Shaugh Prior Commoners, with full support from Shaugh Prior Parish Council and the local Police Sergeant at Ivybridge have recently been able to purchase a fire fogging unit.

Julia Sanders, the Secretary of Shaugh Prior Commoners Association has since 2019 has been researching various funding opportunities and equipment. In early 2021 she spoke to Sgt Ryan Canning of Ivybridge Police after some local outbreaks of wildfire in the area which were of a similar occurrence to others in 2020. He agreed to bring the subject of purchasing a Fire-Fogger up at a liaison meeting he would be attending with the Quarry Industries at Lee Moor in April.

Adam Bromley of Aggregates agreed to look at funding the unit, which would benefit not only the Shaugh Common, but also the villages within Shaugh Prior Parish, in the event of a wildfire breaking out on the moor. Whilst this was being investigated the company was approached by BBC Top Gear programme to facilitate some filming in their quarry which in turn attracted a small fee. Aggregates then agreed to add to that income to secure a Fire Fogger from Demon International at Lee Moor Industrial Estate, for the use of trained farmers (commoners).

Rob Steemson, Community & Landscape Management Ranger with Dartmoor National Park Authority has provided advice throughout as part of his work within the Dartmoor Fires Partnership and as Emergency Officer. He said “The natural hazards of the moor make it difficult to fight wildfires. The fire service has purchased smaller equipment themselves and now Shaugh Prior Commoners having a highly effective high pressured water vehicle. The unit can be mobilised quickly on a quadbike or small terrain vehicle to provide invaluable help to put out a fire before it takes a hold. The purchase compliments what other local Commoners Associations have nearby and will help protect a busy part of Dartmoor”.

Julia said “We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Adam Bromley for pursuing this with Aggregates and being able to give this very generous and kind gesture to our commons and parish. We now have a crucial piece of equipment should a wildfire break out on our common, especially as the industries are on the moor and some properties in the villages are so close”.

Left to Right:

Rob Steemson – Emergency Officer, Dartmoor National Park.
Nick Wassell – Chairman, Shaugh Prior Parish Council & Commoner.
Keith Stone – Chairman, Shaugh Prior Commoners Assoc. & Vice-Chairman Shaugh Prior Parish Council.
Adam Bromley – Quarries Manager, Aggregate Industries.
Julia Sanders – Secretary, Shaugh Prior Commoners Council.
James Brothwood – Quarries Manager, Aggregate Industries.

Nick Wassell, Chairman, Shaugh Prior Parish Council & Commoner