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

Jenny  Walking Sheep Up Street
Jenny Walking Sheep Up Street

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

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


Dartmoor Environmental Land Management Test & Trials


Dartmoor has been selected by Defra as one of the tests and trials sites, informing the development of England's new agri-environment scheme for farmers.


 From January 2020 until November 2021 we will be working with the Dartmoor farming community to answer four main questions as part of the test & trials research:

  1. How do we develop a land management plan which works for common land?

  2. What does a payment by results system which works for both 'home farms' and the commons look like?

  3. Is there a role for private finance within ELMs at a local level?

  4. What role can National Park Authorities play in shaping, facilitating and delivering ELMs?


You can find the full brief in our blog archive.


The project is overseen by a Project Board and an Advisory Team. The Project Board is made up of representatives from Dartmoor National Park Authority, Dartmoor Commoners Council, The Duchy of Cornwall and Natural England, independently Chaired by John Waldon.


The Advisory Team is comprised of volunteers from the Dartmoor farming and land owner community who will steer the content and output of the project.

As the project develops we are sharing news and opportunities to contribute through this web page but also through the Dartmoor Hill Farm Project's newsletter, so please do sign up to receive regular updates.


This is where we are currently on our four research questions:


1. The Advisory Team, taking on board input from others via this website, determined the best approach to a land management plan for the commons was a scorecard, with accompanying farmer led mapping and optional advice. The Organic Research Centre is currently developing a scorecard which we will make available for people to test (you can read their presentation to the Advisory Team in our blog archive).


2. The Advisory Team determined that we should use the scorecard developed by the Organic Research Centre as the basis for a payments by results approach and James Moran, from the Galway-Mayo Institute, who has developed a number of payment by results projects in Ireland will support us in developing this. We hope to test the scorecard with payment information in the summer of 2021.


3. The Advisory Team have emphasized that biodiversity and carbon credit market opportunities are the most economically appealing of the blended finance opportunities and we're still determining how best to address this. 


4. We've produced one report on Natural Capital, available on the blog archive, and have several more papers due in 2021.


Harriet Bell

Dartmoor Environmental Land Management Officer


Dartmoor ELMs Advisory Team

The output of the Dartmoor Tests &Trials will be steered by a volunteer Advisory Team, who are happy to hear from you and represent your views during this process.


Lewis Steer:

Ann Willcocks:

Helen Radmore:

Mat Cole: 

Nick Viney:


Layland Banfield


Robert Jordan:


Tracy May:

Charlotte Faulkner

Tom Stratton

John Howell

Penny Warren

This page only displays our most recent blogs, a full list of all the Dartmoor ELMs outputs to date is available through our blog archive