The Dartmoor Preservation Association is an independent member organisation that helps to look after Dartmoor
The DPA was founded in 1883 amidst concerns that land management of Dartmoor by the Duchy of Cornwall was threatening to extinguish the ancient rights of commoners on the moor. Interest in Dartmoor’s landscape, archaeology and natural history had been rapidly increasing through the latter half of the nineteenth century and the formation of a watchdog organisation seemed to be a prudent step to take.
Although the way that Dartmoor is managed has changed beyond recognition since those early days, the DPA still maintains a strong interest in archaeology and the ecology of the moor. Our members are active in helping to preserve artefacts and to improve habitats. We also maintain a watchful eye on proposed development in the area.
The creation of Dartmoor National Park in 1951 provided a strong assurance of the degree of protection to be afforded to this area. These days, the DPA maintains a strong and close relationship with the Dartmoor National Park Authority and seeks to act in the capacity of “critical friend”. Through our relationships with DNPA and many other local organisations we influence the formulation of policy to manage Dartmoor and participate in actions to conserve its special qualities for posterity. The DPA became a registered charity in 1963.