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High House Waste

In 1959, High House Waste and Dendles Moor to the east were acquired by a forestry company with intentions to plant conifers. Back then, forestry activities were not subject to planning control. Despite a campaign against afforestation, planting on Dendles Moor began in 1960, posing a threat to the historical and prehistoric sites, the amenity value for access and enjoyment (including the breathtaking views over south Devon), and the local wildlife. In a bid to save High House Moor (HHM), the only solution was its purchase. Recognizing the importance of preserving this land, the DPA took action, and in 1964, an individual bought HHM on behalf of the organization.

The DPA initiated an appeal for funds to secure the site in July 1964, which successfully reached its target and closed in late 1965. When HHM became DPA property, it was done so with the intention of offering it to the National Trust or a similar body or having it vested in trustees. In 1969, a deed of trust was established, appointing three trustees to oversee the land.

In 1980, discussions began regarding the transfer of the land to a more suitable body or the DPA becoming a corporate entity, assuming corporate liability. At the 1983 AGM, HHM was transferred from the High House Moor Trust to four trustees of the DPA. In 1993, the decision was once again made not to lease or sell HHM to another organization.

High House Moor is situated on the picturesque southern slopes of Dartmoor, centered on grid reference SX610625, approximately 2-3 kilometers north of Cornwood village. It encompasses an area of about 57 hectares (142 acres). The surrounding land comprises common grazing to the north and west, enclosed farmland to the south, and woodland and ex-conifer plantations owned by the Dartmoor National Park Authority to the east.

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The land is bordered by streams on the east and west—Broadall Lake and the Ford Brook. High House Waste is located within both the South Dartmoor and Dendles Wood Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The majority of the site consists of grass moor or heath, with an upland oakwood area and two valley mire sections on the east-facing slope. A ten-year management plan is in place, and there is a grazing tenant. Additionally, the site features two Scheduled Ancient Monuments. The northern newtake wall traces the path of a Bronze Age reave, and there is a prehistoric settlement in the northeast corner, along with remnants of a potentially medieval farmstead and its approach tracks in the center. While Dartford Warblers have been observed in this area in the past, there have been no recent sightings. However, it's worth noting that the species has significantly expanded its range in recent years, and the pairs appearing in gorse habitat on Dartmoor are just a part of this broader extension.

To access the area, there are gates located in both the north and west walls, as well as entrances into the woodland on the eastern side. We welcome visitors to the area and hold monthly conservation projects on the land on the first Sunday of each month.