For over 5,000 years farming has been the main land use on Dartmoor. Working and re-working the land, farmers have created and maintained a large part of the Dartmoor landscape. Today over 90% of the land within the National Park boundary is used for farming. Much of this area is moorland, both open and enclosed, where livestock is grazed, and the remainder is made up of fringe enclosed farmland which mainly comprises improved grassland.
Our aspirations are for a profitable hill farm economy that can deliver National Park purposes and National Park Management Plan goals. We are working with The Duchy of Cornwall and The Prince’s Countryside Fund to deliver The Dartmoor Hill Farm project that gives support and advice for farmers.
The farmers’ management of the land ensures that unique habitats, species and historical features remain conserved, and through continued grazing provide ease of access to the whole of the commons. Long vegetation or even scrub will diminish the public’s ability to wander across the vast area of the commons at will.
The Dartmoor Farmer's Year
This film follows life on three Dartmoor farms over the course of a year. Find out what happens on the farm across the four seasons and some of the challenges farmers face today.