The 6th Dartmoor Society Award was presented to Marion Saunders of Hillbridge Farm, Peter Tavy, by Dr Tom Greeves, chairman of the
Society, in Moretonhampstead on Friday 30th January 2004.
Tom Greeves said, ‘Since 1970, when she moved to Dartmoor from London, Marion Saunders has dedicated her life to the well-being of
Dartmoor livestock, especially ponies. Working closely with the late Dee Ivey (a founder of the Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society) and other DLPS members and local vets, Marion has responded to reports of sick or injured ponies, sheep and cattle on the moor. Mares having difficulty foaling, lame sheep, or animals struck by passing vehicles, are typical of the incidents she has dealt with. Anyone who has contacted her will soon have realised that their report would receive prompt and efficient attention, even if it meant going out in bad weather or over miles of rough moorland. Many ponies in very poor condition have been nursed back to health at Hillbridge Farm.
The Dartmoor Society has been greatly impressed with Marion’s resourcefulness, energy and selfless dedication to the livestock of
Dartmoor, and I am delighted to present this award to such a worthy yet modest recipient.’ The award is in the form of a specially commissioned and unique ceramic plate, once again designed and decorated by the renowned Devon potter Penny Simpson, whose studio is at Moretonhampstead. The plate contains an inscription by calligrapher Susanne Haines of
Bovey Tracey, who is much in demand nationally and internationally (see feature in Newsletter no. 17). The inscription reads ‘The Dartmoor
Society Award 2003 — Marion Saunders for her dedication to the welfare of Dartmoor livestock’.