This study was undertaken early in planning for the “Moor than meets the eye” partnership project, developed by a partnership led by Dartmoor National Park. This study was commissioned during the stage 1 of the project and formed one part of a range of work that was instrumental in securing a stage 2 £1.9 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The village was keen to give greater prominence to archaeological excavations at Whitehorse Hill, where a well preserved cist, or burial site, was excavated in 2011. There is a wide range of other archaeological remains from the Bronze Age, notably within Bellever Forest, as well as more recent mining heritage to explore. The aim was to encourage half day stops, rather than see Postbridge as a brief halt for the tourist information and a photo on the famous medieval clapper bridge.
We consulted widely locally, with residents and local businesses, to draw together a range of ideas to seek to increase dwell time in the village and immediate area. Proposals included greater co-ordination of existing published walks, improved local facilities for the less physically able and improved interpretation on site to complement new displays in the Postbridge Visitor Centre. The plans also include closer co-ordination between the National Park and the Forestry Commission to increase and improve parking facilities in the village. Longer dwell times will help local businesses including the local pub, village post office and Powdermills Pottery. Major improvements will be seen “on the ground” in 2019.
We have also worked with Resources for Change within the “Moor than meets the eye” project, in both early community consultation and project evaluation works. Early and full engagement with local communities are key to successful conservation projects, including lottery funded schemes.
Local residents are key stakeholders, and full buy in and involvement from local people is essential to a successful scheme. Commercial income, from car parking charges, retail or hospitality, can also be important to provide for and support a sustainable future.