This page has been created to help members take part in our 2020 “virtual” AGM.
For details of the results of voting in the 2020 AGM please click here.
No questions were submitted by members.
Please use the form below to submit any questions that you may have for the trustees, Chief Executive or other officers of the DPA. Once we have received all member’s questions we will post the questions and answers on this page, so do be sure to check back to make sure you don’t miss any.
If you do not tick the box giving consent for your name to be shown in the final list of questions and answers your question will be shown as being asked by “a member”.
If you would like to see a brief profile of each of the candidates standing for election or re-election as Trustee, please see below.
Since 1984 Kate Ashbrook has been general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, Britain’s oldest national conservation body, founded in 1865, which campaigns for commons, greens, open spaces and public paths. She is also vice-president and chair of the Ramblers; patron of the Walkers Are Welcome Towns Network; a member of the Institute of Rights of Way and Access Management; and a trustee and former president of the Dartmoor Preservation Association.
Kate took up a campaigning career because she fell in love with Dartmoor at an early age and was appalled by the many threats facing the moor. She learnt a great deal about campaigning from the Dartmoor champion Sylvia (Lady) Sayer. Kate owns Common Wood – 17 acres of common land above the River Tavy which, with help from the DPA conservation volunteers, she manages for fritillary butterflies.
William’s grandmother, Phyllis, sister of Sylvia Sayer and granddaughter of Robert Burnard, obtained the lease of Huccaby Farm Cottage in 1941. He spent most of his childhood and adult holidays there until the lease expired in 1986.
In 1992, William and his wife, Jill, bought a house just south of Ashburton as a base from which to maintain their close links to Dartmoor. William was a diplomat for 30 years, with postings in Vienna, Havana, Warsaw, briefly Moscow and Athens. On retirement in 2002, he joined British Airways for seven years as their International Risk Adviser.
Since leaving BA, he has undertaken a similar role for Cathay Pacific Airways and worked as a consultant for two London-based risk management companies.
He has extensive experience of charity work, gained through his membership of the Worshipful Company of Skinners, of which he was Master in 2012/13. He spent 8 years on the committee of Lawrence Atwell’s Charity, founded by a Skinner from Exeter in 1588, the last 5 as chairman. He is now chairman of the Company’s Charity Committee, with oversight of its four grant-making charities and two almshouses and is also Honorary Colonel of 39 Signal Regiment (The Skinners), a reserve regiment based in Bristol which provides, among its tasks, communications for the Ten Tors.
I come from a farming family in Hayle, Cornwall, where Dad used a horse for ploughing. We grew tomatoes, freesias and daffodils for a living. As a schoolboy, I became interested in nature and bird watching – we overlooked the estuary which is now the RSPB Hayle Estuary Reserve. I left school in 1964 and later graduated in London with a B.Sc. (General Honours) degree in Botany and Zoology.
I started working at the Marine Biological Association of the UK in Plymouth in January 1969, in the electron microscopy unit. I was there for thirty-five years. Bernadette and I were married in the August and we started walking on Dartmoor on our honeymoon.
We had two children in the 1970s who were soon walking on Dartmoor. I did a WEA (Workers’ Education Association) class of evening walks in Oct-Dec. 1979 and, being keen, I repeated them at weekends, in daylight. I became famous in the November! The newspaper cutting says I was 32 and our son was 5 years old. We were due back from Down Tor stone row by 6 pm at the latest. The Search & Rescue Group found us at Middleworth at 9.40 pm – a few more minutes and we would have reached car. The next evening class was map and compass navigation on the moor! The class spawned a group that stayed together for about two years, planning and leading our own walks.
I also led walks for work friends, including overseas visitors to the lab – we even had a Japanese cricket player once. I sometimes led night walks and friends from Salzburg still remember the stars and the soup at Crazywell Pool in 1986.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, I became busy with my own “blue sky” research, working long hours and weekends. This led to scientific publications, presentations at conferences in Chicago, Toronto, Charleston and Ankara and at smaller meetings in UK and EU universities. I lectured each year at an international school near Innsbruck for 13 years. During this period, I was awarded a doctorate for my efforts in electron microscopy cryotechniques. I retired in 2004.
I joined the DPA in 2008 for its walks but I was soon side-tracked into conservation work. I remember cutting gorse to clear antiquities on Shaugh Moor in June 2008, because I collected some ticks and thereby started a year-long project, collecting more than 4,000. In September 2011, I was co-ordinating the start of the DPA project on Devonport Leat.
The conservation work was fun until back-pain came along. I eventually gave up and in January 2017 I started to lead DPA short walks, which have proved to be popular and, like all DPA walks, they are free.
I have walked on Dartmoor for almost 40 years and together with my wife have walked all public rights of way (except the busy roads) in the Park. That was prior to moving to Dartmoor, into our current location in Horrabridge in 1998. I have been a member of DPA since 1994 and a member of the DPA conservation team since about 2003. In the last three years I have helped represent the DPA at shows in Chagford, Lustleigh and Widecombe. For the last year or so I have been helping to lead work parties at High House Waste and am also serving on the DPA Land Management Team.
By education and profession I am a chemical engineer (BS and Masters degrees), almost retired. My work was in the water industry in the USA, UK and Canada.
Thank you for your help in enabling us to carry out the AGM in this unconventional fashion.