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29 November 2011

Sustainable Development Funding - helping projects on Dartmoor

A recent meeting of the Dartmoor Sustainable Development Fund (DSDF) panel has agreed to provide over £30,000 in funding for projects that demonstrate environmental, social and local economic benefits for Dartmoor as well as furthering National Park purposes. The meeting saw three very different projects receive funding.

black faced sheepDartmoor Hill Farm Project officer, Sandra Dodd, brought along a variety of Dartmoor fleeces at different stages since shearing. She used these to convince the panel to provide just over £5,000 towards a project to investigate what Dartmoor wool products can be produced and brought to market. Initial work has already been instigated with the Natural Fibre Company and the range of products proposed would aim to make full use of every fleece.

Kay Bickley, from Okehampton presented a case for providing funding for a network of charging stations for electric vehicles. It was evident how much work Kay had done towards establishing an electric vehicle charging network through engaging with businesses and communities. Her plans are to develop a network of 40 charging stations and 5 travel hubs for zero-emission vehicles (bikes, cars and trampers) across Dartmoor. This network, once established, would then enable Dartmoor to be an exemplar for rural accessibility for electric vehicle users.  The Electric Vehicle Charging Network received £15,000 to develop the community charging points.

EV Group imageIlsington shop plan

Finally, representatives from Ilsington Village Hall asked the panel for funding that will enable them to begin work on an extension to the village hall that will serve as a shop, meeting place and café. The shop will be run by volunteers (with 1 part-time manager). As they had already secured over £240,000 towards the project,

the panel were unanimous in their support and granted just over £10,000 as requested.

Richard Drysdale, Dartmoor National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Officer also outlined three schemes of under £2,000 that had been awarded delegated grants. An award was made to the Bridford Trust towards the building of a compost toilet. Doug King Smith received a grant to investigate an innovative micro-hydro scheme and the Skaigh Woods Trust received funding to help them complete the renovation of a Victorian pond. For details of this last project see the Dartmoor National Park blog at (external link, opens new window)

Alison Kohler, Director of Sustainable Communities, Dartmoor National park Authority, said:

‘The Dartmoor Sustainable Development Fund is able to support a wide range of projects that have benefits to the environment, the local community and the local economy. The recent successful applications show how the fund is indeed supporting the environment and the community whilst also looking to the future with innovative projects.’

If you have a project that you think could be eligible for, and benefit from, Sustainable Development Funding then please visit the National Park Authority website ( for further details. The next panel meeting is on 27 January 2012 and any potential project must have been discussed and a completed application form received at least two weeks before this date.


For further information

Alison Kohler, Director of Sustainable Communities

Richard Drysdale, Sustainable Development Officer

Mike Nendick, Communications Officer

Dartmoor National Park Authority

Tel: (01626) 832093

Notes for Editors

Sustainable Development is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present but in the indefinite future.  In essence it is about all of us: young and old, able and less able, having a good quality of life now, but in a way that has no negative effects elsewhere and also ensures that future generations will not suffer as a result of our actions. It is about living within the carrying capacity of the environment so that how we live, work and play does not harm or put undue pressure on the environment. 

The Dartmoor Sustainable Development Fund was launched in June 2002, to enable individuals, community groups and businesses to implement innovative new ideas for better ways of living in, working in, and visiting Dartmoor, that also contribute towards the Dartmoor National Park Authority achieving its purposes, and that might otherwise have difficulty in getting finance. The Fund is administered by the Sustainable Development Officer – with inputs from other specialist officers on issues that might have an impact on their areas of responsibility - archaeology, ecology, land management, education, forestry, community, and so on. Decisions are made with the help of an independent Grant Advisory Panel, which meets every two months.

Projects supported have ranged from renewable energy to nature conservation, from sustainable tourism to social inclusion, and from green transport to education for sustainable living.

Applications for a grant of less than £2,000 will normally be decided by the Director of Sustainable Communities under delegated powers. This will generally take 15 working days from the receipt of a satisfactory formal application. All other applications will be considered by a Grant Advisory Panel of independent members, one of whom will be a Member of the National Park Authority and the others will represent social, economic and environmental interests.  

Dartmoor National Park Authority’s purposes under the Environment Act 1995 are:

•    to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park;

•    to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the area by the public.

In carrying out this work, we are also required to seek to foster the economic and social well-being of local communities within the National Park.

Agendas for full Dartmoor National Park Authority meetings and Dartmoor National Park Authority planning meetings are available on the Authority's web site.

You can receive an e-mail notification each time a News Release is issued by the Dartmoor National Park Authority. Visit and click on About us/ News.

For News Releases from all UK National Parks visit (external website, opens new window)

For maps, guide books, trail guides, clothing and other Dartmoor merchandise visit Dartmoor National Park Authority’s Online Shop at

There are 15 members of the National Parks family in the UK: Brecon Beacons, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, New Forest, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District, Pembrokeshire Coast, Snowdonia, South Downs, Yorkshire Dales, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, the Cairngorms and the Broads.  National Parks are of special value to the whole nation because of their great beauty, their wildlife and cultural interests and the opportunities they offer for quiet enjoyment.  However, they are not nationally owned - the land is in the hands of many landowners or occupiers including farmers.  Over 34,500 people live in Dartmoor National Park and many millions of visits are made to it each year.

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Page last updated: 29 Nov 2011
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