On the edge of one of Britain’s most breathtaking nature reserves lies a quaint town teeming with independent shops.
Bovey Tracey is a town which provides an excellent base camp for recreational activities in Dartmoor.
Located just under an hour from the popular seaside town of Plymouth, it is known for its close community and friendly character.
However, DevonLive reported that some residents are worried about the influx of newcomers and fresh building developments, including the construction of a new Lidl.
As a result, locals are worried about how this will impact the community spirit.
Co-owner of the Bovey Larder and local councillor, Corin Burton, said: “We have lived here as a family for 12 years, but only running this business for three years.
“We are extremely well supported by the community as we started from scratch and there wasn’t anything like this nearby beforehand.”
On the new Lidl, Mr Burton understands that a balance needs to be struck. He explained: “There are concerns for other businesses in the town. But thinking about it with a councillor hat on, you want people to be able to shop affordably.
“The town is growing and with the new houses going in, people need to shop affordably.”
Mr Burton explained that Bovey Tracey stands out from other market towns in that it still has a local butcher and baker.
He said: “There is a difference from Bovey Tracey versus other market towns locally on what it can offer. It is quite rare to still have a local butcher and a high-street baker, so we want to highlight those sorts of things and make it a destination to visit.”
Mr Burton isn’t the only local business owner to be concerned about the future of Bovey Tracey. Owner of Posh Paws Pet Shop and Grooming Parlour Debbie Keeting has also expressed concern.
She said: “I have been running the business for 17 years in Bovey Tracey. We have a lovely community, it is a small personal community and the people are great.
“I think with every high street we worry how long we are going to be here because it is quite a commuting town, so people shop at the big superstores and people don’t really support the independents.”
Ms Keeting, 52, currently lives in nearby Chudleigh but says she would love to live in Bovey Tracey but can’t afford to move.
Speaking about what she would change in the area, Ms Keeting said: “I just wish we could have a more vibrant high street.
“We lost the veg shop, and the hardware store last year and it would just be nice to have more shops to encourage more people to shop here. But people do put a lot of effort into what goes on in the town which is good.”
Steve and Rachel Jones, who own Grace and Favour Home, said Bovey Tracey is great for families and that the local schools are fantastic. They also said that it is a fantastic place to run a business.
Mr Jones explained: “It is nice to run a business in Bovey Tracey. It is very community-led and supportive.
“It is a really nice community to be a part of. Our faces are known around and people stop and chat. It is warm and homely living here.
“The moors are on the doorstep, beaches are not too far away, Mill Marsh Park is an amazing place to walk with its woodland, the river and a lovely play park.
“Cafes are all children friendly and welcoming and the schools are brilliant. Everyone seems to do really well here.”