Gibbet Hill lies in Mary Tavy Parish but its water run-off affects residents in West Blackdown. Recent and more frequent storms, accompanied by heavy rain, have led to damaging water run-off.
Huge amounts of water have overrun and eroded the old drainage channels. The inability of the moor to absorb and hold the excess water has led to the flooding of property and land.
Residents in West Blackdown have been campaigning for over two years to get proper drainage management in place. They have contacted the Mary Tavy Commoners, Dartmoor Commoners, the owner of Gibbett Hill, Dartmoor National Park Authority and Devon County Council Highways, yet with little cooperation or commitment to help.
However recent further attempts to solve this problem have gained some traction from the DNPA Dartmoor Headwaters Project Officer, who recently met with residents from West Blackdown and others on the Mary Tavy side of Gibbet Hill. The flooding has finally been acknowledged as a serious matter and there is now hope that the Farming in Protected Landscape (FiPL) grant scheme will be able to fund a hydrological survey as a starting point to resolving the issues. This would provide baseline information from which to work, identify the current issues and make recommendations on how to remedy them.
In order to progress this there is need to obtain permission from all the landowners of Gibbet Hill, who will be contacted by the DNPA Headwaters Project Officer, and who will then inform the commoners out of courtesy. In principle, subject to landowner approval, there is no reason why this could not be progressed quite quickly, which is encouraging. There is also a need for any FiPL agreement to be rubber-stamped by both Mary Tavy and Brentor Parish Councils, but this should just be a formality.
As the project progresses this website will publish ongoing updates.