Letter in Sidmouth Herald 6
December 2013, concerning the land proposed for the new campsite.
The letter is of little importance - merely
a resident clutching at straws over why the fields at the top of Salcombe Hill should not
be used by FolkWeek. As for "exploiting a beautiful location for financial gain"
- is this what the National Trust does at all its properties that are open to the public
and at which an entrance fee is charged?
the relocation of Sidmouth FolkWeek campsite to Salcombe Hill.
The National Trust purchased the fields at the top of Salcombe Hill (the site of the
proposed new campsite for Sidmouth FolkWeek,) together with the surrounding woodland, for
£45,700 in 1986. Presumably this amount came from money given by supporters of the
National Trust, in the belief that their donations would be used solely for the protection
of the natural environment and historic buildings in their care.
The terms of the conveyance, drawn up at the time of the purchase, stipulate that the land
should only be used for the purposes of agriculture forestry or amenity open
space. Camping in these fields could loosely be seen as the amenity of the open
In April 2012 East Devon District Council commissioned the East Devon Open Space Study and
nowhere in this report does it justify the letting for profit of amenity open space or for
access to it to be privately operated and exclusive. In fact, it is defined as the
The National Trust cannot be ignorant of the interdependence of the campsite location with
the late-night entertainment marquee. By the inappropriate exploitation of this beautiful
and tranquil location for financial gain, I believe the National Trust is not only acting
against the spirit of the 1986 conveyance but also failing the expectations of everyone
who donates to them to avoid precisely this happening.
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