“ 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.

Moor Trees at Peter Tavy

Peter Tavy villagers and Harford Bridge Holiday Park are to plant ‘Moor Trees’.  On Sunday 17th November a 3,375m2 area will be planted with over 450 native broadleaf trees.  The land is owned by multi-award winning Harford Bridge Holiday Park.  The family members who now run the park, will be helping to undertake a community tree planting. 

The event (weather permitting) is being supported by Moor Trees and is part of a long-term project to enhance biodiversity on a 0.83-acre area next to the A386 Tavistock – Mary Tavy road in the holiday park’s 4-acre amenity meadow. 

In former times the meadow was used for grazing horses, as well as amenity use by holiday makers staying at the Award Winning 5-star holiday park which is 2 miles from Tavistock and within Dartmoor National Park. 

After some years recovering from stock grazing, a diverse range of wildflowers has returned.  These have been left to grow and expand their range.  Paul Williamson, a director of the family holiday park owned business, said:

“Our parents bought the grazing meadow in the early 1990s as it came on the market and is next to our holiday park.  Back then it was an ideal green space to extend the amenity value of our land and was made available for our holiday park guests who love to stroll the field, many with their dogs. 

My father, Gerald, used to graze and school his carriage horses there, but as he has now given up carriage driving, both horses have been retired.  He kept his hobby up until he was 86 with our late mother Irene.  He now enjoys looking out at the field from his kitchen window; so, we thought we would do something to enhance the view as it includes the meadow and a stretch of ‘A’ road tarmac road up the hill towards Mary Tavy. 

As far as we know the meadow has never been ploughed.  It was probably woodland many, many years ago, so we thought it would be good to replant some of it with native broadleaf trees and keep the rest for wild-flowers. This woodland planting scheme was conceived with the support of Moor Trees and will add to what a neighbour has planted the other side of the road and extend the wildlife corridor.” 

The holiday park is a ‘Gold’ award winner of over 20 years standing under the David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme and a 2019 ‘Visit Devon’ award winner.  This scheme demonstrates ongoing commitment to sustainable land management with a view to improving biodiversity on Dartmoor and make a contribution to mitigate the effects of climate change.

All the trees have been grown from seed on Dartmoor by Moor Trees and Peter Tavy villagers have kindly agreed to help with planting (weather permitting) and will benefit from a donation by Harford Bridge Park to their community funds in return for their help on the day.

The integration of more trees and shrubs within the meadow will help protect natural resources such as clean water whilst supporting sustainable land management. It is a win-win for the land and the environment and exactly fits with Dartmoor National Park Authority’s ambitions for the sustainable management of Dartmoor.  Planting more trees will:

  • Increase wildlife and biodiversity
  • Prevent soil loss and increase soil fertility
  • Enhance land use
  • Reduce flooding, water and air pollution
  • Store carbon and help landscapes and people to adapt to climate change.