Dartmoor, an inspirational place where:

  • the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage are conserved, sustained and enhanced.

Dartmoor was designated as a National Park for its distinctive landscapes, outstanding archaeology and natural habitats, and as a place that people enjoy for its wildness and tranquillity. However, it is not preserved in time, and these special qualities need to be managed and conserved in order for them to be sustained and enjoyed in the future. The conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area is one of two primary purposes of the National Park's designation and remains the guiding principle in achieving the ambitions of this Plan.


A number of more specific Ambitions are particularly relevant to the 'Sustain' theme:

Land Management – Farming communities and land management practices continue to play a central role in conserving and enhancing Dartmoor’s special qualities and delivering a range of public benefits.

Landscape and Tranquillity – Dartmoor is celebrated for its distinctive landscapes and provides the opportunity to experience wildness, solitude, tranquillity, dark night skies and a sense of space.

Habitats and Wildlife – Dartmoor’s internationally and nationally important habitats are expanded and linked and in optimal condition, supporting resilient ecosystems with healthy populations of priority species.

Natural Resources – Dartmoor’s distinctive and high-quality natural resources are managed and enhanced for environmental and public benefits.

Archaeology and Historic Built Environment – Dartmoor’s outstanding archaeological and historic landscapes are well managed, understood and enjoyed, and the character of its distinctive historic built environment is conserved and enhanced.

Cultures and Traditions – Local communities, cultures, skills and traditional ways of rural life continue to be sustained and celebrated as defining characteristics of Dartmoor.

Military Training – All military training on Dartmoor is consistent with National Park purposes, and Defence Training Estate land is managed as an exemplar of conservation and recreational opportunity.

In delivering the long-term Vision and Ambitions under the Sustain theme, three Priorities have been identified which will guide future action and partnership working.

'Sustain' Priorities:

  1. The future of farming and forestry – supporting sustainable farming and woodland businesses that conserve and enhance the special qualities of Dartmoor.
  2. Spectacular landscapes, natural networks – conserving and enhancing Dartmoor’s diverse landscapes and natural ecosystems, and improving the connections between them, both within and across National Park boundaries.
  3. Making the most of cultural heritage – conserving and enhancing the archaeology and historic built environment and helping people to discover more about Dartmoor’s heritage.

Further details are given in the Action Plans.