1. “Now you see them ………”

      Western Power Distribution At nearly 5km and removing up to 36 poles, the Walkhampton scheme is the largest to be undertaken in the South West region by Western Power Distribution. The old overhead line was readily visible from the B3212 Princetown to Yelverton Road, strung across Walkhampton Common from Devil’s Elbow to just above Horseyeatt…

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    2. Ancient Common Land : New Battleground

      Devon scholar, W G Hoskins According to the great Devon scholar, W G Hoskins, the common land of England is the oldest institution we now possess, older by far than Parliament, and older even than the manorial system which subsequently assumed control of commons. What is remarkable is that features of this ancient form of…

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    3. Dartmoor in 2041 – A New Vision

      A recent independent report from Land Use Consultants uses photomontage techniques to illustrate the negative impacts of reducing livestock levels over the next 30 years. The report, commissioned by EBLEX, an organisation that exists to enhance to profitability and sustainability of beef and lamb farming in England, illustrates the likely visual impact over time on…

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    4. Common Land – In Brief

      Common Land is a remnant of the old manorial system which during the medieval period formed the basis for this country’s economy. Centred around the Lord’s Manor House the countryside was divided into the demesne (the Lords land), open fields (cultivated strips) and the waste (poorest unenclosed pasture). As part of this administrative system rights…

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    5. The Dartmoor Commoners’ Council

      Dartmoor’s challenges and the Dartmoor Commoners Council The challenge facing Dartmoor in the 1970s was popularity.  Walkers and horse riders were pouring in. Ecologists were discovering more of its unique ecosystem. Archeologists were reaffirming the largest concentration of ancient monuments in Europe. Historians were realising how well life of the last 500 years was preserved…

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    6. The Common Agricultural Policy

      CAP has two ‘Pillars’: Pillar 1 and Pillar 2. They each have different amounts of money reserved for them and have different purposes. Part of the finance can be spent as the receiving country chooses as long as the criteria are followed; The other part must be spent on directed initiatives. There is a way…

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    7. Dartmoor and the Common Agricultural Policy

      Fairy Godmother? The Common Agricultural Policy is teeming with myths. Many believe there is a fairy godmother who showers farmers with gold from her CAP just for being farmers. If the fairy godmother ever existed she is long vanished. CAP now insists on proven value for all its discretionary grants. Whereas in 1985, around 70% of the…

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    8. Farming on Dartmoor – The Foundation

      A wasteland of impenetrable gorse. Crumbling paths through dank and decaying woodland.  Decrepit stone walls entombing overgrown fields. Dwindling communities living hand to mouth. One or two cars creeping along the broken roads. Silence…abandoned pubs, shuttered restaurants, deserted farms, barren villages, desolate meadows…the farmers have fled Dartmoor. Dartmoor depends on farming – it is the…

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    9. What are Ecosystem Services ?

      An ecosystem may be considered as a unit within which an assemblage of living organisms interact with each other and with the chemical and physical environment. The resulting natural processes establish a series of complex ecological balances. Ecosystems may operate at a wide range of scales, from long-term global systems such as oceans, to very…

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    10. Farming Past, Present & Future

      Hutholes Just up the road from our farm is a deserted medieval settlement which some of you will know, called Hutholes.  Thereon a small site are the clear stone outlines of half a dozen buildings, half of them dwellings, and the remainder small barns or stores. The National Park who manage the site have put…

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