Group of people on a hillside
Group of people on a hillside

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Jenny  Walking Sheep Up Street
Jenny Walking Sheep Up Street

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Beekeepers examining a frame of bees
Beekeepers examining a frame of bees

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Group of people on a hillside
Group of people on a hillside

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Our next newsletter is in draft for April / May 2022

Latest News

Sustainable Farming Incentive

Defra seeks hundreds of farmers to volunteer to join the national pilot

The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) is a new scheme that rewards environmental land management. As a farmer, you can enter into an agreement that will pay you to carry out environmentally sustainable actions. You can submit an expression of interest from 15th March 2021, and will be notified if successful by 24th May 2021. The first agreements will start in Autumn 2021. Payment levels are set at a broadly equivalent rate to current Countryside Stewardship rates, and you can continue to claim BPS as normal if you take part in this pilot.
For this pilot, only land not in an existing Agri environment scheme will be eligible.
For further information visit


Prince's Farm Resilience Programme - last few places left! Start date postponed til June 20201

Do you have a family farm on Dartmoor? Would you like to improve your farm business to maximise

profitability and resilience? The Farm Resilience Programme is a series of seven workshops, focusing

on different business skills. Topics include business planning, understanding accounts and budgeting,

and a new environmental workshop which looks at such ideas as 25 year planning. Alongside these

workshops, every farm completes the Business Health Check Tool to look at their strengths and

weaknesses and benchmark costs against similar farms, as well as receiving one-to-one farm

business support. 

Previous participants have found the course really beneficial, with positive feedback:

'Being able to discuss with the other farmers has been a huge benefit as the family realised they weren’t on their own with the concerns and unknown challenges in the future'.

‘Speakers were inspiring, to encourage us to look at the farm as a business and not a way of life’.

‘Not only has this experience been mutually supportive in the community, it has given us real practical tools to help future proof our farming business’.


The first workshop is due to take place in MAY 2021, and the whole programme is FREE! If you'd like to know more, or reserve a place, please contact us at, or call 01822 890912


Chairman's Update - December 2020

Russell Ashford is Chairman of the Hill Farm Project Steering Group and farms at West Buckfastleigh.

As well as being a Common landowner he is also a grazier and advocate for our industry and the

pivotal role upland farming plays on Dartmoor.  

As we near the end of 2020, we have a chance to reflect on what a year it has been. Aside from the

global pandemic affecting us all, farming starts to head into a period of change , the scale of which

has not been seen for decades. This year has certainly brought home the importance of communication, in whatever form that may take. Although we may not be meeting face to face as many of us would like to, we can still stay in touch through other means. The HFP team are here for you, as are the Steering Group; we have a great team keen to make things happen so please do make good use of them and get in touch. 

In these times of change within farming, I would encourage you all to keep up to date with the Test and Trial project, and the need for farmers to feed into that if they have any thoughts about how they see it fitting in with their farms and commons. You can contact Harriet Bell directly ( or you can also contact any of the Advisory Group - their details are all on the T&T page on the HFP website. 

We have many work programmes and events in the pipeline, and as we get some more clarity in the new year, we will start to get some of these in the calendar. In the new year we will have an IT training course for anyone who may benefit from some training, and we will also be running some events around the emerging information on ELMS and changes to BPS.

Finally, I and the rest of the HFP team would like to send Seasons Greetings to you all, and look forward to a busy and prosperous year in 2021.

DHFP response to the ELM Consultation

You may have seen that DEFRA recently consulted stakeholders on the design of the future Environmental Land Management scheme (ELM) which will replace the current suite of Agri-Environment schemes, and by 2027 the Basic Payment Scheme. Given the significance of the scheme in a post-Brexit landscape, DHFP submitted a response to DEFRA which included comments and suggestions from the Steering Group, which we hope reflect the collective view of farmers on Dartmoor. You can read the response that was submitted by clicking this link to Environmental Land Management Response July 2020.

Dartmoor Food Directory

Within Dartmoor National Park we’re lucky to have a wide range of food and drink producers and retailers. This includes produce straight from the farm gate through to village shops and specialist retailers that source Dartmoor products.

DHFP has produced a Local Food and Drink Map which, under the current restrictions of the COVID-19 outbreak, focusses on businesses who have dedicated retail premises or are able to deliver direct to your home. Given the size of the National Park we would recommend you make contact with the provider before ordering food to ensure you are within their delivery area.

Please note this is a ‘work in progress’. The list has been uploaded without prejudice and with acknowledgement that there are clear gaps. Our hope is to grow and develop the pages over the coming months.

If you are a producer or retailer and would like to be added to the evolving site then please email us with your contact details and we will get in touch.



Life as a Dartmoor Farmer - listen to Laura and Will discuss how and why they farm  

The clips below are of Laura Colwill who farms at Scoriton and Will Dracup who farms near Widecombe in the Moor. They were broadcast on local radio stations and were recorded to explain the way that they farm and what it's like to be a Dartmoor Farmer.

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Laura Colwill
00:00 / 01:52
Will Dracup
00:00 / 01:50