Nicholas HEWISON 0

Save Clam Bridge

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Update : March 2009 Following the decision to replace the Clam Bridge in the Bovey Valley over 600 hundred people signed the petition calling on the Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) to retain the Clam Bridge because of its cultural and historical significance. It is now several months since Devon County Council fenced off the Clam Bridge but efforts have continued to find a way of re-opening the bridge for public use. Initial advice has been obtained from a consulting engineer which gives us some hope that this objective can be achieved. However it will be necessary to raise funds in order to pay for engineering and legal advice and, given the reluctance so far of public bodies to consider ownership of the Clam Bridge, it may become necessary to consider setting up a legal entity to take it over. We have therefore decided to hold a public meeting to gauge public support for these steps and to recruit volunteers to assist us. The public meeting will be held on THURSDAY 26th MARCH at 7.30 p.m. in LUSTLEIGH VILLAGE HALL (Meeting Room). For further information please contact Peter Mason (01647 277498) or Nick Hewison (01647 360) Please join villagers from Lustleigh and Manaton in supporting their Parish Councils to persuade the Dartmoor National Park to keep the Clam Bridge open. As one supporter stated & quote if the Clam Bridge is removed then the Dartmoor National Park might as well stop people walking on Dartmoor." The Clam Bridge is the perfect example of what makes Dartmoor so special for its inhabitants and visitors alike. We need your support to petition Dartmoor National Park to keep the Clam Bridge in the Lustleigh Cleave valley open for public use. Because of excessive concerns over safety and insurance the Dartmoor National Park (DNP) is currently considering removing the old Clam Bridge across the River Bovey on the bridlepath from Lustleigh to Manaton. People have been using the Clam Bridge since at least 1864. Clam Bridge is a unique bridge on Dartmoor. The Clam Bridge is made from two tree trunks laid flat across the river and it is one of the last, if not the last bridge made in this way on Dartmoor. The construction of the Clam Bridge is similar to the stone clapper bridges which are common on Dartmoor. The best known of these can be seen at Postbridge. The surface of each tree trunk is sawn flat and grooves are cut into it to provide a grip. The tree trunks are from trees felled nearby. These beams are replaced every 10 to 20 years and so the structure is simple, sustainable and suitable for its beautiful location A simple rustic handrail is attached to the downstream side of the bridge. However, as Dartmoor writer William Crossing noted in his 1912 'Guide to Dartmoor', clam bridges are "seldom seen on Dartmoor". If you have not visited the Clam Bridge please do so and see what we mean! Grid Reference: SX 766812


This petition is sponsored by Nick Hewison and Peter Mason villagers of Lustleigh. Nick grew up in Lustleigh and is a Parish Councillor on Lustleigh Parish Council. Peter lives in Lustleigh and has walked the Lustleigh Cleave for many years and has a detailed knowledge of the history of the area.

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