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.

They include a meat CSA, a vegetable CSA, community orchards, allotments, apiaries, multiple varieties of agroforestry, a youth project, a biodynamic farm, a seasonal English cut flower enterprise, a new entrant into farming, an urban mushroom farm using waste coffee grounds and an initiative providing training for current and ex-prisoners.

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.

Members of the Living Projects in their chosen site, Pond Field

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Conservation at Dartington

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

The Lifeworks volunteering team showcase their dormouse nesting boxes

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Our growing community

Dartington has a range of amazing tenants who farm our land in innovative ways that benefit the community, and you can meet them all here.

school farm veg

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Food, farming and conservation blogs

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Agroforestry: Our mistakes don't have to be your mistakes

As Dartington's pioneering new agroforestry project reaches a more advanced stage, Harriet takes a moment to outline some key lessons learned, in order to help those who are interested in 'growing their own'. Read More >>

qm montage

Food and Farming blog: Our ducks are in a row - now they're getting a pond

After much planning, it's time for action! Work to create the fundamental structure for reinstating the entire 7 hectares of Queen’s Marsh field as a wetland has now been confirmed - read on to find out more. Read More >>

Viewing platform overlooking Berrymans Marsh

Conservation diary: How we're helping wildlife thrive at Berryman's Marsh

Did you know that Berryman's Marsh is a key area for conservation work at Dartington? Here, Estate Warden Mike Newby reveals how hard work is helping us make the most of this small but ecologically rich area of land. Read More >>

The field at Dartington proposed for agroforestry use

Food and Farming blog: Will our unique new approach bear fruit?

In her latest blog, Harriet explains how, after a huge amount of work behind the scenes, Dartington is about to deliver agroforestry in a way that has never been seen in the UK before. Read More >>

Thanks to Gillian Cartwright for sending in this fantastic image of Queen's Marsh in flood!

Food and Farming blog: Getting our ducks in a row at Queen's Marsh

Following the results of a feasibility study which recommended proactively reinstating wetland habitats in Queen’s Marsh, Harriet has been trying to do exactly that - but it's not the simplest of tasks... Read More >>

Great Tit sitting on her nest with chicks. Photograph: Vicky Churchill, Woodlands and Conservation Volunteer

Conservation diary: Keeping track of nesting birds at Dartington

Each year Mike and the volunteers carry out a nest box survey across the Dartington estate for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) - a scheme that has been going for over 25 years. Read More >>

Dartington's clean energy heroes

Solar Panels at Dartington

Since February 2016, a significant proportion of Dartington’s energy has been produced via renewables, in the form of our 950kw biomass boiler and 500kh(p) solar-PV array. It’s all part of Dartington’s commitment to clean energy, and our investment in these technologies will reduce our carbon emissions by 725 tonnes and fuel bills by £160,000 each year.

Find out how it all works