The DPA has owned High House Waste (HHM) since 1968.
In 1959 High House Waste, and Dendles Moor to the east, were acquired by a forestry company with plans for planting conifers. Forestry was not under planning control at that time and despite a campaign against afforestation, planting on Dendles Moor commenced in 1960 and the only way to save HHM was by purchase. The DPA was against conifer planting because it would spoil the prehistoric and historic sites, reduce the amenity value for access and enjoyment (including the magnificent views over south Devon) and destroy the wildlife. In 1964 HHM was bought by an individual on behalf of the DPA.
The DPA launched an appeal for money to purchase the site in July 1964, which reached its target and was closed in late 1965. When it became DPA property it was with a view to offering it ‘to the National Trust or some similar body or to be vested in trustees’. A deed of trust was set up in 1969 with three trustees.
In 1980 discussions took place about the disposal of the land to a more appropriate body, or the DPA becoming a corporate body and therefore having corporate liability. At the 1983 AGM, HHM was transferred from the High House Moor Trust to four trustees of the DPA. In 1993 again the decision was made not to lease or sell HHM to another body.
High House Moor is on the southern slopes of Dartmoor, centred on grid reference SX610625, 2-3km north of Cornwood village. It occupies about 57 hectares (c142 acres). The adjacent land is common grazing to the north and west, enclosed farmland to the south, and woodland and ex-conifer plantation owned by the Dartmoor National Park Authority to the east.
The site rises from 200m (700′) above sea level in the south to 370m (1250′) in the north. It is bordered by two streams, Ford Brook to the west and Broadall Lake to the east, both tributaries of the R Yealm.
The whole site is underlain by granite, apart from alluvial deposits associated with the streams.