The much-anticipated Independent Review of Protected Site Management on Dartmoor was published on 13 December 2023. It was overshadowed by the COP28 deal, but locally it’s just as significant: after all, Dartmoor is by far the largest area managed for wildlife in the south-west, and its peat bogs hold carbon stores equivalent to an entire […]
Author: Harry Barton
I was until recently the CEO of Devon Wildlife Trust. After 12 years there I decided it was time for a career break! I’ve always loved Dartmoor and for the last nine years I’ve lived just on the southern edge a few miles from Totnes. I run on the moor at least once a week. But nearly 30 years ago I was interested in the whole rewilding agenda and I did a bit of research on the subject while working for what was then called the Council for National Parks (now the Campaign for NPs). Dartmoor was one of the areas I remember looking at. Sadly not a lot has changed in terms of the issues and pressures over the years since.... While at DWT we bought or took on the management of several pieces of land on Dartmoor and recently set up a successful Landscape Recovery Project covering a large part of the eastern moor. We’ve also engaged in various management plans and strategies over the years, so I’ve become well acquainted with the many issues and the politics.
Dartmoor is one of England’s most treasured landscapes and important wildlife havens. Just as the brooding hills, hidden valleys and spectacular tors delight visitors year-round, the oak woodlands, heath, bog and mires are home to many species that are vanishing elsewhere – including golden plover, curlew, high brown fritillary and countless rare insects, plants and […]