THE protection of our much-valued ancient natural landscape of Dartmoor is to be boosted thanks to a new £361,082 pot of Lotto funding.Dartmoor National Park AuthorityThe Woodland Trust and RSPB have been awarded money by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to develop their plans aimed at restoring nature, protecting our heritage and support Dartmoor’s communities. 

The organisations have received the initial support for Dartmoor’s Dynamic Landscapes.

A Dartmoor National Park Authority spokesperson said: ‘This wide-ranging partnership programme will be looking at ways to preserve heritage andhabitats, address issues such as rural isolation and the climate and ecological crisis and offer people opportunities to access and discover more about the National Park. 

‘With the landscape at the heart of the programme, work is planned to focus on the river catchments of the Okement, Dart, Erme andYealm.

‘These beautiful rivers encompass what makes Dartmoor so special: the bogs of the high moor; nature rich grasslands and upland heath; wooded valleys and riverside communities.

‘Through a series of proposed projects, the aim is to accelerate the pace of heritage and nature conservation and restoration;encourage healthier and more equitable access to our best landscapes and help communities benefit from sustainable visitor tourism.’Pamela Woods, chair of Dartmoor National Park Authority, said: ‘We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players.

‘It will help us develop practical conservation projects, offer support to our communities and make sure this incredible landscape can be understoodand enjoyed by all sections of society – crucial elements of Dartmoor’s Partnership Plan.‘As with much of what we do, this work will be designed alongside our communities, farmers andour partner organisations.

‘I look forward to seeing these exciting plans come forward.’Helen Booker, RSPB senior conservation officer, said: ‘Dartmoor is home to a wide range of unique wildlife from the high moors to the valley woodlands.

‘We are delighted to be part of this project, which will help support practical action to conserve and recover nature. It will enable us to work withambitious nature friendly farmers, partners and volunteers, including to test ways to gather and share information on Dartmoor’s special birds and the places they live.’Ross Kennerley, South West regional director for the Woodland Trust, said: ‘The wooded valleys of Dartmoor are amazingly rich places. They are homes and refuges for a wide variety of wildlife and wonderful places for people to discover and explore. ‘The projects we are involved in support our wider ambitions for woods and trees.

‘We will be looking at sustainable ways to take wood from restoration work into peatland restoration projects, surveying the oldest trees across themoor, gathering seed to grow local trees and talking with farmers about the possibilities of incorporating trees into their farms.’Stuart McLeod, director England – London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: ‘Landscapes and nature form the bedrock of our culture and heritage, improving wellbeing, sparking curiosity, and protecting and providing for the community’s surrounding and inhabiting them.‘We’re pleased to support Dartmoor National Park Authority, the RSPB and The Woodland Trust and look forward to working with them to progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.’