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New Clapper Bridge installed at Dartmoor National Park

A new Clapper Bridge has been installed over the Western Wella Brook, along with path and drainage improvements on the associated public right of way, which is part of both the Abbots Way and the Two Moors Way.

The project to make this happen has been led by Dartmoor National Park and is jointly sponsored by Totnes Ramblers and South Devon Ramblers.

There has been a need for a bridge at this location for many years. Last year following an aborted walk in the area due to the lack of a bridge, the walk leader, Steve Town, asked if Totnes Ramblers could try and make the project happen.

Totnes Ramblers chairman, Andrew Chadwick, approached Dartmoor National Park offering to use a legacy from former member Edward Franklin to fund the project.

Andrew said: "We know that Edward Franklin loved walking on Dartmoor, so this was a great opportunity to use some of his legacy bequest."

South Devon Ramblers heard that the project was progressing and offered to jointly fund with Totnes Ramblers, using some of their John Musgrave legacy funds.

Dartmoor National Park`s Landscape & Community Ranger Rob Steemson has co-ordinated the project and worked closely with Totnes Footpath Officer, Trevor Walker, to progress plans.

Rob said: "The Ramblers funding contribution through our Donate for Dartmoor scheme and our links with the local land owners has helped facilitate this project. I was aware that one landowner was keen to have a bridge and had a suitable slab of granite on his farm and we used a local contractor to undertake the work."

A clapper bridge was chosen as it is in keeping with the surroundings and would have minimal impact on the view in this remote and beautiful area of Dartmoor. Planning approval was obtained in September and despite recent poor weather, the work has been progressed quickly due to the dedication and resolve of those involved.

The new bridge and improvements to the footpath will make it much easier for those walking the Two Moors Way, the Abbots Way or anyone just out for a stroll above the Avon Reservoir.

For people seeking walking opportunities, there is a programme of walks organised by Totnes Ramblers (see www.ramblers.org.uk/totnes) and by South Devon Ramblers (see www.ramblers.org.uk/southdevon)

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