Meet Kit Hancock, North Dartmoor Countryside Warden

Hi all,

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.
My name is Kit Hancock and I am the North Dartmoor Countryside Warden for South West Lakes Trust.  I am responsible for the practical implementation of the conservation, environmental, site maintenance and educational work programs across our North Dartmoor sites: Roadford, Meldon, Fernworthy, Kennick, Tottiford and Trenchford.


I have lived in Devon pretty much my whole life and spent most of my teenage years on Dartmoor training for the Ten Tors event which is where my love for Dartmoor began! Before joining South West Lakes Trust in 2009, I studied Countryside Management at Bicton College and then went on to work a year for Somerset Wildlife Trust.  I currently live just off of the National Park boundary in North Tawton with my wife.

Being a Countryside Warden is a very diverse role, the best thing about the job is that no two days are the same. One day I can be building an Otter Holt with volunteers and the next day I can be supervising a film crew.


All of the North Dartmoor sites are fantastic locations and have their own appeal. From the wilderness of Meldon to the woodland trails of Tottiford and Trenchford, but, for me, Fernworthy is my favourite!

We have recently completed the Moor Than Meets the Eye project at Fernworthy. The project has enabled us to upgrade the footpaths – people of all abilities now have access to this wonderful location and can enjoy everything the site has to offer. From the submerged clapper bridge and hut circles to the culm grassland and forestry which plays host to an abundance of wildlife – Fernworthy certainly has it all.

tilly-fernworthy-reservoir-south-west-lakes“I just wanted to pass on some feedback about the new path being installed at Fernworthy Reservoir. I visited the Reservoir this morning with my parents (who live in Chagford) and my 4 year old daughter Tilly. Tilly has a rare chromosome disorder and as part of her condition can only walk short distances and relies on a disability buggy to get around. She / we are therefore pretty limited on where we can visit with her and often have to stay at home while the rest of the family goes out for long walks. Fernworthy is a particular favourite of ours but we have been restricted to the road. Today, because of the fabulous new path being installed we were able to take her out for a proper walk. It looks like the path will go all the way around the reservoir which would be fantastic.

I just wanted to say thank you on behalf of Tilly and others with special needs who are restricted in the terrain they can access. I have attached a picture – you can see how happy she is to be out enjoying the lovely day!”

Katie Baily

Fernworthy has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and it’s been fantastic to be involved in a range of projects. We’ve upgraded some of the footpaths under the MME project and worked in partnership with the Butterfly Conservation Trust to ensure the long term preservation of the Marsh Fratillery Butterfly, there’s also been improvements to the brown trout fishery.

Fernworthy offers a great day out on Dartmoor, whether it be a short stroll around Potters walk, a picnic lunch or a historical venture to explore the ancient hut circles. For the more adventurous visitor you can gain access to the high moor and enjoy a proper Dartmoor hike – Fernworthy is the place to go.

Replies for “Meet Kit Hancock, North Dartmoor Countryside Warden”

  • Tamsyn at Lopwell

    Hello Kit,
    Have just read about what you are doing,it sounds really interesting.Best wishes for your new role.
    The Lopwell café under new management is doing well. We were sad that Jayne moved to Princetown but wish her success there at Lords café.
    Hope all goes well for you.

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