At the 21st Annual General Meeting of The Dartmoor Society, held at Scoriton on 13 April 2019, Dr Tom Greeves, retiring Chairman of The Dartmoor Society, presented Doug and Claire King-Smith with the 22nd Dartmoor Society Award (2019). It is in the form of a magnificent hand-crafted ceramic plate made by potter Penny Simpson and calligrapher Michael Edwards, both of Moretonhampstead.
The plate is inscribed ‘for Doug & Claire King-Smith for exemplary Hillyfield’.
Dr Tom Greeves said: “We had a Society visit to Hillyfield in May 2018 – a quiet mix of ancient and coniferous woodland and pasture, comprising 46 acres straddling the Harbourne river between South Brent and Dean Prior. All were hugely impressed with the dedication and achievements of Doug, Claire and their helpers in revitalising the ecology and potential of this woodland. Yet, for six years Dartmoor National Park Authority resisted their efforts to obtain planning permission for activities and structures associated with traditional woodland management, claiming that they were potentially harmful to the ‘character and appearance’ of the National Park.
“Happily, in April 2018, at an appeal hearing at which the Dartmoor Society was represented, the National Park backed down and Doug and Claire’s long-term plans are now in progress.
Hillyfield Woodland is an inspiration for all woodland owners, as it marries traditional, sustainable working practice, generating useful products and income, as carried on for centuries within Dartmoor woodland, with modern ideas about community and volunteer connection with the land, enhancing local economic and social well-being. It is an outstanding example of what could be replicated many times on Dartmoor and beyond.
“This is why I am delighted to present them with this beautiful plate handcrafted by Penny Simpson and Michael Edwards, and inscribed ‘for exemplary Hillyfield’.”