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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Excellent Elderflower, poor peppers and the ‘triangle of doom’

A look at how our groundbreaking agroforestry field project is getting on, with ups and downs aplenty - and one highly unexpected visitor to Broadlears field. Read More >>

25 years on: Bird nesting scheme still going strong at Dartington

Our estate warden pays tribute to Peter Morris, whose nesting box scheme in Dartington Hills continues to play a vital part in understanding Britain's birds - a quarter of a century after its creation. Read More >>

Winning Soundscape bird hide design for Queens Marsh

Food and Farming blog: New bird hide design is a winner!

Students from the University of Plymouth have created a design inspired by Dartington's kingfishers - but we need your feedback to help us decide where the new bird hide should be located. Read More >>

Aerial image showing the new ponds and scrapes at Queen's Marsh

Food and Farming blog: New bird hide set to open up restored wetland

In an exciting and unanticipated developement, Queen’s Marsh will now be getting a bird hide - thanks to students from the school of architecture at Plymouth University. Read More >>

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 >>

Queen's Marsh 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 >>

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