Dartmoor National Park Authority, lead partner in a proposed £4m, six year project, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the first phase of funding, totalling £100,000, from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) from its Landscape Partnership (LP) programme.
The project, Moor than meets the eye, has been developed in partnership with Dartmoor Farmers Association, Dartmoor Partnership, Dartmoor Preservation Association, Devon County Council, Duchy of Cornwall, English Heritage, Forestry Commission, Natural England, South West Lakes Trust and the Woodland Trust. It will also involve local people and will serve to benefit Dartmoor and Devon as a whole.
This earmarked first-round pass for the Moor than meets the eye project means that HLF has provisionally allocated £2m for Dartmoor. The development stage of 18 months work will now begin in earnest. A project manager will be recruited and it will be their role to help ensure that the next round of funding is secured as well as ensuring community involvement and support. The remainder of the funding will come through the partners of the project and in-kind work.
The main aims of the project are: • to help people learn about and learn from the past • to help people understand, appreciate and enjoy the cultural and natural environment now • to develop projects and skills to conserve and sustain the area’s heritage for future generations • to sustain a living and working landscape through business opportunities that capture the value of the landscape • to develop a well trained and co-ordinated volunteer workforce which will become the legacy of the project long after funding has ceased.
Extending for an area of 280 sq km of central and south east Dartmoor, Moor than meets the eye will provide the opportunity to reveal and restore Bronze Age, industrial and medieval sites and buildings. It will provide a focus for local people to record and restore features of historic and wildlife interest in their communities. Conservation schemes will be developed to help protect and enhance haymeadows and wet valley systems in the area, and to help protect nationally important species such as the red-backed shrike and barbastelle bats. A particular theme of the project is to inspire and involve local people and visitors in learning about, understanding and exploring the variety of heritage that exists in the area; and to get involved in its conservation through a wide range of volunteering opportunities. The scheme will provide opportunities for economic growth linked to the landscape.
There are plans, as part of the project, to improve access over the landscape in the form of heritage trails which will allow visitors to understand the story of Dartmoor. This will be done by involving young people, families and other groups to work together with farmers, landowners and local businesses.
Dartmoor boasts some of the best preserved archaeology in western Europe and excavations in 2011 at White Horse Hill have indicated that there is much more hidden beneath the surface. The results of the excavation revealed a totally unexpected and fascinating glimpse into what life might have been like in the early Bronze Age. Some of the treasured possessions found on the site are completely unique in terms of British archaeology. Dartmoor is layered in history, not just Bronze Age, including Neolithic, industrial and medieval; it will be of real benefit to the region to be able to include the preservation and further development of Dartmoor’s history within the Moor than meets the eye project.
Dartmoor is also important for its habitats and wildlife. Wet valley systems support three species which could be lost from Dartmoor without intervention, and the bog hoverfly is not currently found anywhere else in the UK. The red-backed shrike, a bird similar in size to a house sparrow, has been extinct in England since 1992 but in 2010 returned to Dartmoor; and Dartmoor’s ancient woodlands are home to the nationally rare barbastelle bat. The Moor than meets the eye project will be of great importance to the protection of these species, to the conservation of Dartmoor generally, and in helping visitors and local people to understand their environment and get engaged in sustaining this special place.
Bill Hitchins, Chairman of Dartmoor National Park Authority, said: 'On behalf of the Partnership we are delighted that the HLF has given us this support. We believe it will provide a significant boost for Dartmoor and make a real difference in our ability to understand and look after the fantastic heritage we have here. We look forward to working with our partners and local communities to develop this exciting opportunity.'
Richard Bellamy, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: 'Dartmoor National Park is a hugely popular visitor attraction which boasts a combination of breathtaking scenery and diverse wildlife habitats. The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to be offering initial support for this Landscape Partnership scheme which will not only help conserve a very precious part of our natural heritage but also encourage local communities to play a much greater role in looking after it.'
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported 33,000 projects,
allocating £4.9billion across the UK. See web site: www.hlf.org.uk (external link, opens new window) HLF’s Landscape Partnerships are helping bring together members of the community as well as local, regional, and national organisations to deliver schemes which benefit some of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes and rural communities. Grants currently range from £250,000 up to £2m. From 2013 this range changes to £100,000 up to £3m. The next closing date for LP applications is May 2013.
A Landscape Partnership (LP) earmarked first-round pass means that money has been set aside by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the scheme in question. Competition at this stage is tough, and while it does not guarantee funding, it is an indication of positive support. The applicant then progresses to the second round and submits a further, fully-developed application to secure the full award. This early level of strong financial commitment means that LPs can build strong partnerships with the assurance that funding for their scheme is in place provided that their final proposals fully meet the programme's criteria.
For more information, please call Katie Owen, HLF press office, on 020 7591 6036; 07973 613820. See also HLF News release 23 July 2012 - £20m HLF investment in 13 distinctive landscapes across UK (external link, opens new window)
Notes for Editors In 1949 the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act was passed and the first UK National Parks were designated in 1951. Dartmoor was designated in October that year, the fourth area of land in the UK to receive National Park status.
Dartmoor National Park Authority’s purposes under the Environment Act 1995 are: • to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park; • to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the area by the public. In carrying out this work, we are also required to seek to foster the economic and social well-being of local communities within the National Park. Agendas for full Dartmoor National Park Authority meetings and Dartmoor National Park Authority planning meetings are available on the Authority's web site. You can receive an e-mail notification each time a News Release is issued by the Dartmoor National Park Authority. For News Releases from all UK National Parks visit www.nationalparks.gov.uk (external link, opens new window).
There are 15 members of the National Parks family in the UK: Brecon Beacons, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, New Forest, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District, Pembrokeshire Coast, Snowdonia, South Downs, Yorkshire Dales, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, the Cairngorms and the Broads. National Parks are of special value to the whole nation because of their great beauty, their wildlife and cultural interests and the opportunities they offer for quiet enjoyment. However, they are not nationally owned - the land is in the hands of many landowners or occupiers including farmers. Over 33,500 people live in Dartmoor National Park and many millions of visits are made to it each year. For further information Heritage lottery Fund Katie Owen, HLF press office: 020 7591 6036; 07973 613820.
Dartmoor National Park Authority John Weir, Head of Communications Alison Kohler, Director of Conservation and Communities Tel: (01626) 832093 See also Dartmoor National Park Authority web site for more information on the Moor than meets the eye – Dartmoor Landscape Partnership Scheme
Other releases for Dartmoor Tourism Partnership.