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EDITIONS
 Monday, 6 January, 2003, 14:11 GMT
Dartmoor sees erosion reduction
Dartmoor in January
Dartmoor gets 10 million visitors a year
A Devon moor has been declared as being in good shape for the New Year.

Rangers say Dartmoor National Park has recovered well from erosion damage and there should be no need to re-impose "at risk" zones.

The National Park Authority estimates up to 10 million people a year visit the moor.

The authority has used the zones twice before to ask people to avoid heavily eroded areas to give them a chance to recover.

Dartmoor pony
Animal overgrazing has been reduced
Dartmoor's recovery is largely due to a cut in animal numbers which has reduced overgrazing.

A lack of visitors during the 2001 foot-and-mouth epidemic and public help in avoiding heavily eroded areas have also helped repair the damage.

Rob Steemson of the National Park Authority said: "We have, over the course of the past few months, been surveying and monitoring the erosion problems we have had.

"I'm glad to be able to say the moor is looking very well. We've been lucky with the weather and the rainfall hasn't badly affected it."

Marked paths

Those who walk the moor regularly have said they have noticed the improvement.

Don Millgate of the Ramblers' Association said: "I think that for winter conditions, it's pretty good, as long as people are sensible and avoid the very obvious wet areas."

However, the park authority is asking people to continue being careful in how they use Dartmoor.

Walkers and riders should stick to marked paths and tread as gently as possible, cars should be parked only in designated parking areas.


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03 Jan 03 | England
18 Dec 02 | England
05 Dec 02 | England
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