Upgraded trails, easy-to-use gates and improved waymarking are all helping to make Dartmoor easier to explore for everyone.
The £63,000 funding came to Dartmoor National Park via Defra’s Access for All fund, a three-year funding programme to improve access to green and blue spaces across the country.Several sites have benefited from the first year of funding with money helping to expand Dartmoor’s award-winning Miles Without Stiles routes and carry out targeted improvements elsewhere in Dartmoor’s dramatic and beautiful landscape.
- New path surfaces, new gateway, and a new ramp into the stone shelter at the ancient meadowland in South Brent known as ‘The Island.’
- Laying around 200 tons of surfacing material to repair eroded sections of a woodland nature trail at Burrator’s beautiful arboretum making it easier to use by people with mobility issues and families with pushchairs.
- Resurfacing and drainage repairs to the small parking area at Cantrell Moorgate and a new easier-access gate leading onto Ugborough Moor and the Dartmoor Way.
- A new four-way timber sign on the Miles Without Stiles route at Bellever Forest, offering improved waymarking where none existed before.
- Resurfaced section of the Nun’s Cross Miles Without Stiles route near Peat Cot, allowing a circular route to Princetown via Tor Royal. Improvements to the parking area have made drop-off/pick-up easier for people wanting to explore that dramatic part of Dartmoor.
- Replacing a difficult stile with a new gate to help those with limited mobility, alongside a new boardwalk section to create an access-friendly circular walk around Widecombe. - Resurfacing damaged, rough sections of path through Yarner Wood to help create a new Miles Without Stiles route where people can enjoy a ramble through this amazing ancient wildlife-rich woodland.
Tim Russell, Dartmoor National Park’s recreation and access projects officer, said: “The national park’s upland moors, sheltered wooded valleys, varied flora and fauna, geology and archaeology, enclosed farmland and unrivalled opportunities for exploration are just a few reasons why people love Dartmoor. “Working together with others, we’re doing brilliant work to help people from all backgrounds and abilities enjoy this wonderland landscape.
The funding builds on this work to make Dartmoor a much more inclusive place so everyone can appreciate its special qualities. It also shows we’re delivering on the ambitions of our Partnership Plan and commitments in the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan.”The Access for All programme was developed in response to the Landscapes Review which called on the government to open our national landscapes to a more diverse audience. Through the Access for All programme, Defra has committed £14.5m to make targeted access improvements in protected landscapes, national trails, forests, and the wider countryside to help bring the benefits of spending time in nature to everyone. The programme included £7.8m on supporting national landscapes in being a positive force for the nation’s wellbeing. Check out all of Dartmoor’s Miles Without Stiles routes on the website.