Enhancing nature

Enhancing nature

Better for nature

Dartmoor is Devon’s green heart. It's home to incredible habitats and wildlife, provides much of our drinking water and its bogs, woodlands and soils are critically important stores of carbon.

But it is not immune to the global ecological and climate crisis. Greenhouse gases, declines in wildlife and more frequent flood events are major concerns across Dartmoor, and across the UK. But if we take action now to we can turn around the declines and see nature being enhanced rather than eroded.

We want to make sure nature thrives, along with the wildlife that call these precious habitats their home. In July 2019 we became the first National Park to declare a climate and ecological emergency and we’re committed to achieving a green recovery that’ll last.

Our vision

Dartmoor National Park’s Partnership Plan outlines our ambitions for nature enhancement, something that's often called nature recovery.

The Plan sets out a vision for Dartmoor that’s nature rich, climate resilient, better for future generations, connected to the past but forward-looking and a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can live, work and visit.

This cuts across a range of areas: partnership working, funding, legislation, policy and plan-making.

In action, we're taking a landscape approach to what we do. By enhancing and reinstating dynamic natural processes across large areas we can better restore the ecological balance. This allows habitats and species to thrive and provides resilience to gradual changes in our climate and more dramatic extreme weather events.

We're doing this across Dartmoor's river catchments and the work brings together communities, farmers, landowners and partners, all of who are fundamental to the future health of our environment.

In order to achieve the change needed, nature enhancement needs to be joined up across the landscape. Partnerships and co-operation is vital. By working together, we can get the best outcomes for nature, communities, the economy and our future way of life.

Our plan for the future

Our plan is based around these transformative actions:

  • Ensure soils are well managed and function in ways that improve biodiversity, maximise carbon storage and reduce flood risk
  • Enhance rivers, streams and floodplains to improve water quality, reduce flood risk, increase water storage and support abundant biodiversity
  • Restore and create better-connected habitats, replace missing habitats and reintroduce species that have declined or been lost.

Work we're doing

We're working in lots of ways with a range of people and organisations. As examples, we're working with farmers to support collaboration and explore opportunities around landscape scale land management and nature enhancement. This includes:

Enhancing our waters

Reinstating and emulating natural river processes to slow and store water, restore habitats and reduce flood risk

Natural flood management

Enhancing peatlands

restoring peatland - home to incredible flora and fauna - to stop the loss of carbon, hold water, and prevent flooding

Enhancing our precious peatlands

Enhancing habitats

working in key areas to remove non-native species like Himalayan Balsam and American Skunk Cabbage, benefiting our ecosystems

Tackling invasive species

Supporting farmers

helping farmers adapt to national policy and payment changes while delivering more public goods that improve the environment

Support and advice for farmers

Farming in Protected Landscapes

A locally-led funding programme for farmers and/or landowners with projects that support nature enhancement, fight climate change, preserve cultural heritage and offer opportunities for public access

Farming in Protected Landscapes