Population futures and Dartmoor National Park: Implications of development around the outskirts of Dartmoor for recreational use and management of access

Brett Day, Amii Harwood, Charles Tyler, Sara Zonneveld
Walking at Hemsworthy Gate

Report to Dartmoor National Park Authority

September 2018

Dartmoor National Park is enjoyed by large numbers of visitors. Significant new housing developments and population growth in the districts around Dartmoor will inevitably result in increases in the number of visitors to the National Park. In order to ensure both high-quality recreational experiences and successful environmental protection, there is a need to better understand how new housing developments will impact Dartmoor. In response to that challenge, the Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) outlined the following key questions for which answers were needed:

  • Where do visitors currently come from?
  • How will housing levels change in the areas around the National Park?
  • How may visitor numbers, visitor distribution and types of access change?
  • What are the impacts from National Park access and how important are those impacts?
  • What needs to be done in terms of mitigation or changes to access management to provide for the changes forecast?

This report, compiled by staff of the SWEEP partnership at the University of Exeter, sets out to provide answers to those questions. In achieving that goal the research team have drawn on numerous information sources bringing together secondary data, modelling capacity and drawing on expert inputs in order to present a comprehensive assessment of the impacts on Dartmoor of future population increases.

An additional resource is also available for those interested in the management implications of the report findings. Planning and Legal Advice: Informing Assessment of Recreational Impacts on Dartmoor National Park is a study by Green Balance and Kristina Kenworthy. It was commissioned to provide planning and legal advice regarding how these funding models could be delivered, particularly but not exclusively through the planning system.


Extended Summary

Download a copy of the Extended Summary of the report.


Download a copy of the report prepared by SWEEP for the Dartmoor National Park Authority.

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