The Moorland Vision

An investigation in 2005 of the problems faced by hill farmers on Dartmoor identified that they wanted to be confident that those statutory agencies charged with protecting the moor all shared the same vision. Farmers also wanted a clearer picture of what land management was required, and they wanted to be part of the solution.

To address the first issue, a Vision of what the statutory agencies wanted moorland Dartmoor to look like in 25 years’ time was produced; this process helped resolve issues of potential conflict between management for the historic environment (including archaeology) and the natural environment. Importantly, the Vision map (PDF) identified that the future was a grazed landscape, and confirmed the role that farmers play.

The vision is for Dartmoor moorland to remain the largest open space in Southern England with its varied habitats - blanket bog, mires, heather moorland and western heath in optimum condition.  In addition 14 Premier Archaeological Landscapes have been identified, where management of the archaeology will be paramount, whilst remaining sympathetic to the ecological interest.

Following production of the initial Vision, work was undertaken to review and update it, taking into account additional elements such as access, and resources including water and carbon storage.