How we use our land

For over nine decades the land and estate at Dartington have been used for agricultural experimentation, research and the application of new processes, with a rich and sometimes controversial history in land-based research.

Today, the estate comprises of a main tenancy, Old Parsonage Farm, which covers 480 acres and maintains a milking goat herd, small Jersey herd, beef cattle and sheep with sustainable, forward-thinking farming practices.

In addition to this, around 20 other land-based tenancies run a variety of brilliantly eclectic and progressive food and farming initiatives – including a meat CSA, a vegetable CSA, community orchards, allotments, apiaries and much more

Land Use Review

Our vision for how we use our land. Find out how we aim to tackle some of the contemporary challenges facing rural communities and agriculture.

Conservation at Dartington

From dormice to hedgerows and everything in between, conservation work plays a major part in Dartington estate life.

Powered by renewables

A significant proportion of Dartington’s energy is produced via renewables, in the form of our 950kw biomass boiler and 500kh(p) solar-PV array.

Food, farming and conservation blogs

1. Soil

Our responsibility as a land owner is to ensure that our soils are not only maintained, but built up and soil health enhanced so that they may continue to support life for generations to come. This philosophy will underpin every use that we put our land to.

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2. Water

We commit to building a resilient estate water infrastructure which provides excellent quality drinking water; which is energy efficient to operate; provides wildlife habitat; mitigates future flood and drought risks resulting from climate change, both on the estate and downstream of the estate; protects water from pollution; and recognises the role water plays in the

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3. Conservation

As identified in the 2016 State of Nature Report, the UK has seen a decline in biodiversity generally of 56% since 1970. The estate’s aspiration is to counter that trend.

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4. Forestry

We will increase forest cover on the estate with an emphasis on agroforestry to deliver tree fodder, biomass, timber and diverse food crops.

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5. Heritage

We commit to celebrating and preserving the estate’s heritage whilst recognising that change and adaptation may be required for future resilience.

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6. Access

We commit to finding ways to provide fair access for everyone to the wild places and green spaces whilst maintaining the estate as a working environment and protecting wildlife.

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7. Food

We will promote food sovereignty of the estate and region, support the sustainability of local farm enterprises through our own procurement and look to provide a healthy diet for all.

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8. Farm and food businesses

We aim to create an enabling environment which attracts creative and innovative people with experience, skills and resource to establish a variety of farm and food enterprises which test and generate new ideas and replicable solutions for real world challenges in line with an overarching agroecological approach.

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9. Learning

We commit to creating a place where living and learning can flourish together, and engage with other farmers through visits, participation in farming networks and peer-to-peer knowledge exchange.

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