Please note that this website uses cookies necessary for the functioning of our website, cookies that optimize the performance, to provide social media features and to analyse website traffic.

Burnt Out Ford Focus Dear Mr Ball.

Your reply, and my further e-mail to you in responses, is posted here on my web site:

Reason - matters of public concern.

David Halpin FRCS


On 13/07/2020 8:58 pm, Ball, Peter wrote:

Thank you for your e-mail. We normally aim to respond to e-mails within 10 working days, however, due to the current situation, deadlines have been extended to 20 days. although we will do so sooner if possible.

If your query relates to a pollution or poaching, or water resources incident and requires immediate attention please report this to our Incident Hotline which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year - 0800 80 70 60 /

Kind regards

Peter Ball
Environment Officer, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly


Dear Mr Ball,

There is misunderstanding.  I was reassured as to the foam used.  That is there were no toxic elements in it.

I copy my e-mail now and in bold are the reasons why I wrote to the Environment Aagency.  My first concern is that the hoggetts grazing on the wood pasture do not ingest toxic chemicals.  The second is the risk of toxic chemicals being carried down the ancient drove track, down the restricted byeway and into the Dod stream, and thence into the Teign Estuary .  The buddles are  nicely open at present but if there is very heavy rain, I know from past experience, that the buddles become blocked.  This is often due mostly to vegetable matter + gravels.  The stream is thus increased in volume and sweeps on downwards. 

You say " I understand that my colleague has already spoken to Mrs Halton (I correct you - Mrs Halpin)  in your absence (and advised you to perhaps contact Environmental Health at Teignbridge District Council) who may be contacted on 01626 361101."

There is no 'perhaps'.  I am a conscientious man who underwent a scientific training in medicine, and who served for 40 years as a surgeon in our NHS - in the main as a consultant orthopaedic and trauma consultant .  A man who keeps up to date with environmental matters.  I think the potential dangers here need the expertise of the Environment Agency. 


This, written for a talk to doctors in Gaza in 2007, shows my interest and my great concern for the safety and health of others

I ask, with respect, that the Agency respond to my concerns.

for truth and with kind regards

David Halpin MB BS FRCS

Dear Environment Agency,

A Ford Focus was set on fire - presumably with petrol, in an ancient drove track on the evening of 2-06-2020 - attached.  The Torquay, Newton Abbot and Bovey Tracey stations each sent an appliance.  See letter from D&C Fire and Rescue Service below, including the contained link.

I have cared for this track since about 1980.  There were two buddles by it but they had long been defunct.  I placed redundant lintels obliquely across the track and got the buddles working in heavy rain.  The track had been made into a deep V by torrents.  I know this track like 'the back of my hand'.  I have frequently cleared the buddles, the task made more often necessary by the unwelcome and unwise use of the track by 4x4s.

I purchased the 25 acres of poor pasture in 1986 which lies to the east of this track.  The ancient, and often very high hedgebank which borders this track on its eastern flank is in my ownership. There was heavy rainfall some time after this incident.  I had cleared the two completely blocked buddles in February with my employee Richard Penellum.  (We also cleared a 12" diameter hazel which had fallen across my bank and which was blocking the path.  And placed a redundant lintel at the top to keep rain water in the main track, saving a burden from the ancient drove track.)

I know that the 'washings', with any potential toxic chemicals, would have been carried through the lower buddle on to my wood pasture.  This wood pasture is presently grazed with 32 White Faced Dartmoor hoggetts owned by Ms Hilary Bond of Pullabrook Farm, Lustleigh.

The wreck was lifted out by a contractor at my request 30-06-2020 so that people could use the track and avoid seeing the centre of a very morbid, and indeed evil picture.  It is placed on bearers over two membranes lower down and near the main gate to the wood pasture.  Its removal will be organised by Teignbridge District Council.

I am concerned that the pasture is possibly contaminated with toxic chemicals,  some of which I know do not naturally degrade and become benign.  I know of furans and PCBs, but recently read of perfluoro-hydrocarbons which I see can directly and by other means, affect thyroid function in humans.

I took soil samples 4-07-2020.  O.5 litres in clean glass capped jars.  2 metres from the pasture side of the buddle where water had flowed, 3 metres down from that, and 10 metres up the pasture from uncontaminated land.

I should be very grateful for your examination of the site.  It can be reached by 4x4 up a restricted byeway that is signed and at Upper Gulmswell.  The gate to the wood pasture, which is usually padlocked, is immediately left after the gate which closes the restricted byeway.

Map reference for the lower buddle is 904712  OS Sheet SX 87/97

My address - Kiln Shotts, Haytor, Newton Abbot, TQ13 9XR   01364 661115  Mobile  07980 588525  We moved from Combe to Dartmoor in 2000, having established 28 acres of woodland on three parcels of land, including this one I have described.

I add.  The Fire and Rescue Service noted no run off and "no water courses affected and no environmental concerns raised."  That was the case that night, but if there is moderate to heavy rainfall, a stream forms in this steep track.  If the buddles are patent, the water and spoil flows on to the wood pasture.  If they are blocked, the water streams down to join the Dod stream, and eventually joins the Teign Estuary just upstream from Combe Cellars Inn.  You will know that mussels are cultivated in the estuary.  When you inspect the site of the fire, about 400 yards up the track, you will see the high earth banks bared for at least 15 yards.  Any contaminants at this site and immediately below risk, with significant rainfall, either ending in the wood pasture, or if that has become blocked, in the Teign Estuary.

for truth  and thanking you in anticipation

David Halpin MB BS FRCS  

On 23/06/2020 12:13 pm, Information Assurance wrote:4x4s

Dear Mr Halpin,

Sorry I missed you when trying to telephone just now following your voicemail received yesterday.

I had difficultly locating the incident due to the address and date but found that it actually took place on 2 June. For your information, our Incident Ref No. is VV006111-02062020 and you may be interested to see that there are some details of this on the Newsdesk of our website here:

The Police were spoken to at the time in the vicinity but they did not access the actual scene – we have no record of their Log no; if there is one.

The fire was extinguished using a small amount of Compressed Air Foam through a fogging lance but there was no run off, no water courses affected and no environmental concerns raised.

If you can confirm by responding to this email that you are the owner of the land, I can send you the Incident Report for your records.

Yours sincerely,

Wendy Richmond
Information Compliance Officer