LOCAL author and historian Don Balkwill, who wrote the book 'The Book of Shaugh Parish', officially opened the new National Trust bridge at Shaugh Prior last Sunday.

The bridge, which spans the River Plym, provides access to National Trust land at Dewerstone and Goodameavy.

After months of planning and the use of a temporary scaffold bridge for visitors and climbers to continue accessing National Trust land the new bridge is finally ready for use. 

 Gus Fergusson, head ranger for South West Dartmoor, said: 'We are really pleased with our new bridge. The previous one had seen many hundreds of people crossing to enjoy the countryside of Goodameavy and Dewerstone and now visitors can continue to enjoy the outdoors at Shaugh for many more years to come.

'Our thanks must go to a team from 42 Commando for helping John French Construction to place the steel framework in place.  Because of the terrain it wasn't possible to crane it into place and had to be carried by hand.' 

The new bridge has been clad in locally sourced oak to ensure it is in keeping with its natural surroundings.

National Trust Dartmoor celebrated the new bridge with a variety of activities over the weekend, including helping the local primary school with their pond and a conservation day on Saturday.