Hay Tor Damaged by Geology Students

We have been sent the following report by UKC/UKH User gcoiley about some recent damage that he saw being carried out at Hay Tor in Devon.

While climbing at Hay Tor on March 8 I witnessed a student from Bristol University chipping rock at the top of Low Man with a pick. The student would have continued if I hadn't quickly intervened.

Damage on Lowman, 219 kb
Damage on Lowman
© George Coiley

The group then informed me that it was OK because they were geologists and had to take samples. However, they left all the fragments they'd chipped, rather than collecting them.

Should inexperienced undergraduate students be allowed free rein with picks and hammers? Surely if every University outing allowed this then rocks throughout the country would diminish in size rapidly. If samples must be collected wouldn't it be better done in areas of loose rock already subject to heavy erosion, such as on tidal beaches, rather than the top of a tor?

I have raised my concerns with the head of the Geology department at Bristol University, but have not as yet received a reply.

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