Better for Nature and Natural Beauty
Delivering the Vision
This section of the Partnership Plan focuses on the Vision for Dartmoor to be ‘Alive with nature: Networks of healthy habitats that are home to many different plants, insects and animals create a more resilient natural environment connected within and across the boundary of the National Park. Some areas will feel wilder as nature is enhanced and allowed to take its course.’. It is significant also in delivering the vision for Dartmoor to be: Celebrated and enhanced, A great place to live and work, and Carbon negative.
Dartmoor National Park is an extraordinary landscape, one of Britain’s finest; its special qualities (see Section 5) recognised nationally through designation in 1951 as one of the first National Parks in the UK. The natural beauty of the landscape includes wild, open moorlands, with striking granite tors and steep wooded river valleys, intimate enclosed farmland with historic field patterns, and settlements; always changing, and shaped by nature and people over time.
Dartmoor is internationally important for a range of habitats including blanket bogs, upland heaths, upland oak woods, Rhôs pastures, lowland pastures, rivers and valley mires. It also supports many rare and common species. It hosts the headwaters of nine main river catchments and is the principal source of drinking water for much of Devon. Its deep peat, soils and woodlands are important stores of carbon.
Whilst Dartmoor remains a stronghold for many habitats and species, it is not immune from the wider ecological crisis which is impacting nature nationally and globally. This was recognised by the Authority with the declaration of a climate and ecological emergency in June 2019. During the preparation of the Partnership Plan, it became clear that a bold and ambitious response is needed to nature enhancement at a landscape scale across the National Park and connecting beyond its boundary: with Dartmoor acting as the beating heart of nature enhancement in Devon and beyond.