Exmoor National Park - Partnership Plan 2018-2023

Exmoor National Park - Partnership Plan 2018-2023

Exmoor National Park - Partnership Plan 2018-2023

Exmoor National Park Authority Exmoor House, Dulverton, Somerset, TA22 9HL Tel: 01398 323665 email: info@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk Exmoor National Park PartnershipPlan 2018-2023 Exmoor National Park PartnershipPlan 2018-2023

Exmoor National Park - Partnership Plan 2018-2023
Exmoor National Park - Partnership Plan 2018-2023

Partnership Plan 2018-23 Exmoor National Park PartnershipPlan 2018-2023 Exmoor National Park Authority Exmoor House, Dulverton, Somerset, TA22 9HL Tel: 01398 323665 email: info@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk FRONTCOVER: “The King” by Jessamy Keily, part of the ‘Dark Skies’ series encapsulating the beauty of Exmoor.

JinKs Art, www.jinksart.com INSIDECOVER: “Sunrise On Porlock Hill” by Andrew Wheatley ©ExmoorNationalParkAuthority April 2018

Exmoor National Park - Partnership Plan 2018-2023

2 Contents Map of Exmoor National Park . 4 Foreword . 7 Our Vision for Exmoor National Park . 8 Special Qualities . 10 Our Ambitions . 12 Purpose of The Partnership Plan . 15 What Is It . 15 Who Is It For . 15 How Has It Been Prepared . 16 How Is The Plan Used . 16 How Does It Fit With Other Plans and Strategies . 18 Exmoor National Park . 20 Our Story . 20 Exmoor’s Highlights . 20 National Park Designation and Statutory Purposes . 22 Responsibilities of Public Bodies Regarding National Parks . 22 Changing Landscapes: The Challenges and Opportunities Facing Exmoor . 24 Exmoor National Park 3 Partnership Plan 2018-23 People - Exmoor for all: where everyone feels welcome .

26 The Exmoor Experience . 28 Well-managed Recreation and Access . 30 Thriving Tourism Built on Sustainability . 32 Place - inspiring landscapes: diverse and beautiful, rich in wildlife and history . 34 Celebrated Landscapes . 36 Wildness and Tranquillity with Dark Night Skies, and Sensitive Development . 38 Valued Historic Environment and Cultural Heritage . 40 Rich in Wildlife . 42 Prosperity - working landscapes: thriving communities and a vibrant local economy . 44 Working Landscapes . 46 Strong Local Economy . 48 Thriving Communities . 50 A Valued Asset . 52 Where People, Place and Prosperity Come Together .

54 Moorland . 56 Farmland . 58 Woodland . 60 Rivers and Streams . 62 Coast . 64 Settlements and the Built Environment . 66 Monitoring and Research . 68 Delivery . 70 The Milky Way from Brendon Common Keith Trueman

Exmoor National Park - Partnership Plan 2018-2023

4 © Copyright Exmoor National Park 2018 5 Exmoor National Park Partnership Plan 2018-23 UK National Parks ExmoorNationalPark Key Scale 1:140,000 0 3 6 9 12 kilometres 0 2.5 5 7.5 10 miles

Exmoor National Park - Partnership Plan 2018-2023

7 Partnership Plan 2018-23 Foreword “The essential requirements of a National Park are that it should have great natural beauty, a high value for open air recreation, and substantial continuous extent” Hobhouse Report 1947 ExmoorNationalParkisauniqueandveryspecial place;adistinctivelandscapeshapedbygenerations ofpeople,whohavefarmedandmanagedthe environment.Todayitiscelebratedandenjoyedfor itswonderfulvarietyofheatherandgrassmoors,its ancientwoodlandsandforests,picturesquevillages, dramaticcoastlines,magnificentherdsofReddeer, nativeponies,andatnightthemagicofitsdarkskies.

Wearerightlyproudofourlandscape,ourheritage andourwildlife. Overthelastfiveyears,wehaveworkedclosely withourmanypartnerstodeliverthe2012-17 PartnershipPlan.Wearedelightedwithallthathas beenachieved,butbelievethereismoretodo. Wehaveseensignificantpoliticalchange,in particularthedecisiontoleavetheEuropeanUnion andtheresultingdiscussiononfutureagricultural supportandenvironmentalprotection.Wehave seentheproductionoftheGovernment’s8Point PlanforNationalParks,andmostrecentlyAGreen Future:Our25YearPlantoImprovethe Environment,whichsetsouttheGovernment’s ambitiontoleavetheenvironmentinabetterstate thanitfoundit.Againstthisbackdropofchange, wehavebeentalkingwithourpartnersandthe publictoconsidertheissuesfacingExmoor,and agreehowbesttorespond. Wearenowpleasedtopresentthe2018-2023 PartnershipPlan.Itbringstogethertheambitionsof ourpartnersinacollectivevisionforExmoor.It describeshowwehopetoworkwithallthosewho loveandcareforExmoor,whethertheylivehere, workhereorcometoenjoyitsbeautifullandscape, wildlifeandheritage.Itrecognisestheimportance ofournaturalandculturalcapitalanditrespondsto theGovernment’sagendaforNationalParks,which emphasisestheimportanceofconnectingyoung peoplewithnature,sustainablelandmanagement, internationaltourism,localfood,heritage, landscape,healthandwell-being.Itsupportsthe aspirationssetoutintheGovernment’s25YearPlan fortheEnvironment.

Wepassionatelywanttoseeahealthyand beautifulenvironment,thrivingcommunitiesand successfulbusinesses.Wealsowanttoseemore peopleenjoying,visitingandcelebratingExmoor, andfuturegenerationscontinuingtobeinspired byitsbeautyandextraordinarysenseofplace. We look forward to working with you on our Partnership Plan for Exmoor. Robin Milton, Chairman Sarah Bryan, Chief Executive Exmoor National Park Authority Seaside Safari, Lynmouth Steve Guscott

Exmoor National Park - Partnership Plan 2018-2023

9 8 Exmoor National Park Partnership Plan 2018-23 OurVisionforExmoorNationalPark l Exmoor’sdistinctanddiverselandscape is maintainedandenhanced,withanincreased awarenessofitsimportance l Thereisanincreasedextentofwildlife habitats andlinkagesbetweenthem,more habitatsareingoodconditionand populationsofvaluednativeplantsand animalsarethriving l Thereisanenhancedknowledgeofthe historic environment ofExmoor;increased awarenessofthevalueofitscultural heritage, andthemostimportanthistoricalsites, settlements,buildingsandfeaturesare conservedandtheirhistoricalcharacter retained l Exmoor’snatural resources areused sustainably,andthefullbenefitsofits ecosystemsareunderstoodandharnessed.

Pollutionisminimised,airandwaterarehigh quality,andsoilsareconservedandingood condition l Weareclosertoachievingacarbon-neutral National Park tohelpmitigateclimate change,andhaveintroducedmeasuresto adapttochangesinclimatethatarealready happening l Thereisincreasedpublic awareness and enjoyment oftheNationalPark;awarm welcomeandhigh quality experience for everyoneseekinginspiration,tranquillityand activeoutdoorrecreation,leadingtogreater understandingofExmooranditswayoflife, andawiderappreciationofthecontribution thatNationalParksmaketoqualityoflife l Exmoor’scommunities retainacontinuityof connectionwiththeland;andcommunities aretakingtheleadinshapingfuture developmenttomeettheirneedsand aspirationsincludingaccesstoservices, housing,communicationsandinfrastructure l Thereisastrong, diverse and resilient economy wherefarming,forestry,land managementandruralenterprisesare playingaleadroleinconservingand enhancingExmoor’sspecialqualities; producinghighqualityfoodandother produce,andconservinglocalbreeds.There isasustainabletourismandrecreation economyinharmonywithlocal communitiesandtheenvironment Porlock Bay Oysters on Shore

Exmoor National Park - Partnership Plan 2018-2023

11 10 Exmoor National Park Partnership Plan 2018-23 TheQualitiesthatmake Exmoorspecialare: l Largeareasofopenmoorlandprovidinga senseofremoteness,wildnessandtranquillity rareinsouthernBritain l Adistinctanddiverselandscapeofsoftly roundedhillsandridges,withheatherand grassmoors,spectacularcoast,deeplyincised woodedvalleys,highseacliffs,fastflowing streams,traditionaluplandfarmsand characteristicbeechhedgebanks l Atimelesslandscapemostlyfreefrom intrusivedevelopment,withstrikingviews insideandoutoftheNationalPark,and wherethenaturalbeautyofExmoorandits darkskiescanbeappreciated l Amosaicofhabitatssupportingagreat diversityofwildlifeincludingherdsofwild Reddeer,richlichencommunities,rare fritillarybutterflies,bats,andotherspecies uncommoninsouthernBritain l Acomplexandrichhistoriclandscapethat reflectshowpeoplehavelivedin,exploited andenjoyedExmooroverthepast8000years, includingburialmoundsonridges,discrete stonesettings,ancientfarmsteadsand settlements,picturesquevillagesand historicestates l Adeeplyruralcommunitycloselylinkedto thelandwithstronglocaltraditionsandways oflife l Afarmedlandscapewithlocallydistinctive breedssuchasRedDevoncattle;Devon Closewool,andExmoorHornsheep,and herdsoffreelivingExmoorponies l Anexceptionalrightsofwaynetwork,with pathsthatareoftenruggedandnarrowin character,alongwithextensiveareasofopen countryandpermittedaccess,providing superbopportunitiesforwalking,ridingand cycling l Alandscapethatprovidesinspirationand enjoymenttovisitorsandresidentsalike Red deer stags in velvet at Cornham Nigel Stone

Exmoor National Park - Partnership Plan 2018-2023

13 12 Exmoor National Park Partnership Plan 2018-23 OurAmbitions PROSPERITY Working landscapes: Thriving communities and a vibrant local economy Exmoor’s land-based communities and businesses are supported to provide healthy food and good quality timber, and ensure that Exmoor’s landscapes continue to be well managed and cared for The local economy is more sustainable with increased innovation, entrepreneurship and improved economic prospects Exmoor’s local communities are thriving, with strong connections to the National Park Exmoor is celebrated for the value it brings to the region and nationally Moorland The extent of Exmoor’s open moorland is retained and restored.

The habitats within it are enhanced and the area and quality of heather is increased. Farmland Exmoor’s distinctive farmed landscapes continue to be conserved and enhanced as part of an active farming system delivering a healthy natural and cultural environment. Woodland Exmoor’s woodlands are diverse, well-managed, productive and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park. Rivers and streams Exmoor’s rivers, streams and their associated valleys are in good condition. Their native flora and fauna thriving, and flood risk is reduced.

Coast Exmoor’s stunning coast is better understood, enjoyed and conserved. Settlements & the built environment Thelocal distinctivenessand historiccharacter ofExmoor’s settlementsand builtenvironment areconservedand enhanced. PLACE Inspiring Landscapes: Diverse and beautiful, rich in wildlife and history The natural beauty, distinct character and diversity of Exmoor’s landscapes are celebrated, conserved and enhanced Exmoor is somewhere you can experience tranquillity, openness, wildness and dark night skies. Development is sensitive to the National Park’s special qualities and conserves its scenic quality and setting Exmoor’s historic environment is better understood, cared for and protected.

Its cultural heritage and rural traditions are valued for their place in telling Exmoor’s story and shaping its future Exmoor is richer in wildlife. Habitats are in good condition, expanded, connected, and support a greater abundance of species Exmoor for All: Where everyone feels welcome More people enjoy Exmoor, are inspired, get involved, and learn about its special qualities Exmoor has a first class rights of way network. The paths, open access and recreational facilities are enhanced to offer more and better experiences for people who want to explore and enjoy the National Park The tourism economy is vibrant, innovative and growing, and celebrates Exmoor’s distinctive character Monitoring and research: Our knowledge and understanding of Exmoor’s special qualities is increased through monitoring and research to inform future decision making and delivery of our Ambitions.

PEOPLE Where People, Place and Prosperity come together:

Exmoor National Park - Partnership Plan 2018-2023

15 Partnership Plan 2018-23 1 GovernmentVisionforEnglishNationalParksandtheBroads; Government’s8PointPlanforEngland’sNationalParks PurposeofThePartnershipPlan What is it? l It’sastatutoryplanthattheNationalPark Authorityisrequiredtoprepareeveryfive years l ThefundamentalbasisforthePlan,andfor theworkoftheNationalParkAuthority,are theNationalParkstatutorypurposesandduty l Itdescribesthespecialqualitiesofthe NationalPark,andsetsoutalong-termVision forwhatwewanttoachieve l Itidentifiestheopportunitiesandchallenges facingExmoorthatweneedtorespondto l ItsetsouttheAmbitionsthatwewillfocuson overthefive-yeartimeframeofthePlan l ItreflectstheGovernment’svisionand prioritiesforallNationalParksand demonstrateshowExmoorcanhelpdeliver these1 Who is it for? l It’sforthewholeNationalPark,notjustthe NationalParkAuthority l It’sforourpartners.ThePlancanonlybe achievedifweworktogethertodeliverit. Thisinvolvesawiderangeofpartnerswhoall haveanimportantroletoplay l It’sforExmoor’slandandpropertyowners andmanagers,withoutwhosesupportand co-operationthespecialqualitiesofthe NationalParkwouldnotbemaintainedand enhanced l It’sforthepeoplewholiveandworkhere: Exmoor’slocalcommunitiesandbusinesses l It’sforthewiderpublic.ThePlansetsout whatisimportantaboutExmoorandwhatis beingdonetoconserveandenhancethe NationalPark l Thesectionsthatfollowareforeveryonewho hasaninterestintheNationalPark,the NationalParkAuthority,partnerorganisations, localcommunitiesandbusinesses,andthe widerpublic:it’sourPlan Exmoor is many things to many people.

To some a home and to others a livelihood, an adventure playground or a place to escape. It is also an area full of resources and opportunities to provide benefits beyond its boundary.

Foreveryone,though,itisaspecialplace,protected forthenationasaNationalPark.Thisfive-year PartnershipPlanestablishestheAmbitionsand strategiesrequiredtomaintainthespecialqualities ofthearea.ThePlandoesnotseektopreservethe areainaspicbutbalancetheneedsofdifferent interestsnowandinthefuture.It’satrue PartnershipPlan,developedinconsultationwith partnerorganisations,communities,visitorsand businesses.AndwhiletheNationalParkAuthority facilitatesthePlan,werelyonourpartnerstohelp bringittolife.

Conygar Tower, Dunster Nigel Stone

16 Exmoor National Park ThisPlanisforeveryonewho caresaboutExmoor,the place,itscommunitiesand thebenefitstheNationalPark providestothenation How has it been prepared? l It’sbasedonevidencefromtheStateofthe ParkReport l It’sinformedbyourpublicopinionsurvey l It’sbeendevelopedwithourpartnership groups l It’sbeenthroughpublicconsultation How is The Plan used? l AsthebasisfortheNationalParkAuthority BusinessPlan,guidingourworkprioritiesand resourceallocation l TodevelopNationalParkAuthoritypolicies anddecisionmaking l Tobringtogetherawiderangeofpeopleand organisationsaroundasetofcommongoals l Toco-ordinateactionamongstpartnersand developprojectswherewecanwork togetheronissuesofsharedinterest l Todrawinfundingtodelivertheoutcomes identified l TomonitorprogressagainstourVisionand Ambitions State of the Park Report Public Opinion Survey Statutory Purposes & duty Special Qualities Exmoor National Park Partnership Plan 2018-23 Vision & Ambitions Delivery Programme & Action Plans Monitoring Partnership Plan 2018-23 17 HowthePlanFitsTogether View across Porlock Vale to Selworthy Nigel Stone

19 18 Exmoor National Park Partnership Plan 2018-23 How does it fit with other plans and strategies? l It’sthesinglemostimportantdocumentfor theNationalPark l Itsitswithinthecontextofinternationaland nationallegislation,policyandstrategyand doesnotoverrideany otherspecificlegislative requirementsor consentprocesses l ItisaccompaniedbytheStateofthe ParkReportwhichexaminestheissuesand trendsaffectingtheNationalPark’sspecial qualities,andprovidestheevidencebasefor thePartnershipPlan l Itprovidestheframeworkforotherplansand strategiessuchastheLocalPlanwhichsets outthepoliciesfordeterminingplanning applications l ItgiveseffecttoNationalParkpurposes l Itreflectspublicviewsandopinionsfollowing consultation l ItisimplementedthroughaseparateDelivery Programme National Park Purposes Condition of the National Park’s special qualities as set out in the State of the Park Report Legislation.

National and local strategic plans and programmes Exmoor National Park Local Plan setting out planning policies governing spatial development in the National Park Exmoor National Park Partnership Plan - long-term vision and Ambitions for Exmoor National Park Delivery Programme for partnership groups with actions to achieve the Partnership Plan Ambitions Individual corporate plans for delivery bodies e.g. Exmoor National Park Authority Business Plan Public consultation Beautiful Demoiselle Nigel Stone

20 Exmoor National Park ExmoorNationalPark ThestoryofExmoorbeginsmillionsofyearsago withthemovementoftectonicplates.Fromthat eruptedthegenesisofthelandscapeweseetoday: rawmaterialthatwasshapedandreshapedby geologicalandgeomorphologicalprocesses,as wellashumanintervention. It’seasytoforgetthatExmoorisinnosmallpartan environmentmadebypeople.Butmillenniaof farming,mining,fuel-making,settlement,defence andrecreationhavelefttheirmark,formingthe uniquelandscapethatisnowExmoorNationalPark. Atjust693squarekilometres,Exmoorisoneofthe UK’ssmallestNationalParks.Butwhatitlacksinsize itmorethanmakesupforinbeautyandvariety, thankstospectacularcoastline,expansive moorland,steepwoodedvalleyswithfastflowing riversandstreams,androllingfarmland. ThevalueofExmoorisnotonlyaesthetic.Froma conservationpointofview,themoorlandsandoak woodlandsaredesignatedinternationallyforthe habitatsandspeciestheysupport.Andour archaeologicalandculturalheritageisremarkable: newsitesanddiscoveriesarefrequentinthe NationalPark,andweenjoyarichtraditionoflocal art,literature,musicandfood. Thentherearethenightskies,whichreallyareout ofthisworld.We’reofficiallyanInternationalDark SkyReserve,thankstothewondrousstarryroof that’svisiblewhenthesungoesdown. Thesespecialqualitiesgoalongwaytoexplaining whyExmoorinspiresmorethantwomillionvisits everyyear.Oncepeoplearehere,ourfantastic rightsofwaynetworkandopenaccesslandensure theyhaveeveryopportunitytogetupcloseand personalwithalandscapethatiswithoutrival. That’swhatmakesExmoorsospecial:thepeople, theplace,andtheirsharedprosperity. Some of Exmoor’s highlights l Wild,windsweptopenmoorland,oneofonly threeuplandareasinsouthernBritain l Europe’sveryfirstInternationalDarkSky Reserve l ThetallesttreeinEngland l ThehighestcliffsinEngland l 55kmofstunningcoastline,partoftheBristol Channelwiththesecondhighestandlowest tidesintheworld l Almost250speciesofbirdandover1,000 differentfloweringplantsandgrasses l OneofthebestplacestoseewildReddeerin England l Free-livingnativeExmoorponies,perfectly adaptedtouplandconditions l Nearly10,000recordsonExmoor’sHistoric EnvironmentRecord,representinghuman activitystretchingback8,000years l OneofthefirstNationalParksinEnglandto gaintheEuropeanCharterforSustainable Tourism l Thelongeststretchofcoastalwoodlandin EnglandandWaleswithrarewhitebeam treesuniquetoExmoor l Over1,600veterantreesthroughoutthe NationalPark,andthehighestbeech plantationinEngland l Over1,300kmofpathsandbridlewaysand around17,600hectaresofopenaccessland toenjoy l OneofthemosttranquilplacesinEngland Our Story Horner Water Robin Offer

Exmoor National Park Partnership Plan 2018-23 2 Section11AoftheNationalParksandAccesstothe CountrysideAct1949,asamendedbySection62(2)ofthe EnvironmentAct(1995). 3 DEFRA(2005)GuidanceNote:Dutiesonrelevantauthorities tohaveregardtothepurposesofNationalParks,Areasof OutstandingNaturalBeautyandtheNorfolkandSuffolkBroads DEFRA,London(Paras4-8)andNaturalEngland(2011) England’sstatutorylandscapedesignations:apracticalguide toyourdutyofregard Responsibilities of public bodies regarding National Parks ‘RelevantAuthorities’shouldhaveregardto NationalParkpurposeswhenmakingdecisionsor carryingoutactivitiesrelatingtooraffectingland withintheNationalPark.Authoritiesandpublic bodiesmustshowtheyhavefulfilledthisduty.2 WheretheiractivitiesoutsideNationalParksmight haveanimpactinsidethem,theGovernmentsays theyshouldhaveregardtoNationalParkpurposes.3 National Park designation and statutory purposes ExmoorNationalParkwasdesignatedin1954,in recognitionofitssignificanceandvalueata nationallevel,andisoneofafamilyof15National ParksintheUK.TheNationalParkdesignation reflectedits‘spectacularcoastline,fineheather, brackenandgrassmoorland,beautifulwooded valleys,antiquitiesingreatprofusion...including stonecircles,barrows,hutcirclesaswellas earthworks…notablewildlife…andisfirstrate countryformotoring,andforwalkingandriding’ (the1947HobhouseReport). ExmoorNationalParkAuthorityhasthefollowing statutorypurposes: l Toconserveandenhancethenaturalbeauty, wildlifeandculturalheritageofthearea l Topromoteopportunitiesfor theunderstanding andenjoymentof itsspecial qualitiesby thepublic Wherethereisconflict betweenthesetwopurposes thatcannotbereconciled,thefirst purposetakesprecedence(knownas‘the SandfordPrinciple’).

TheNationalParkAuthorityleadsactiontoachieve thesepurposes,and,whiledoingso,must seek to foster social and economic well-being of the National Park’s communities. 22 23 Kestrel Mark Asher

25 24 Exmoor National Park Partnership Plan 2018-23 ChangingLandscapes: TheUKfacesaperiodofunprecedentedchangeasit leavestheEuropeanUnion.ThisPlaniswritteninthe yearafterBrexitandsothefuturedirectionofnational policyandfundingisstilltobedetermined.Whilethis bringsuncertainty,italsoprovidesgreat opportunities.Asaconsequence,wehave deliberatelykeptthisPartnershipPlanbroadinscope, settingoutwhatwewanttoachieve,butleaving flexibilityforhowitwillbedelivered.Thisallowsusto respondtothechangesandopportunitiestocome.

Therearemanyforcesforchangeaffecting Exmoor’slandscapes,someofthemglobal,others verylocalisedineffect.Whilewemaynothave controloveralloftheseimpacts,weneedto understandandbeawareofthesechangessothat wecanrespondandadapttothemforthefuture. Detailsofthetrendsandchangesaffecting Exmoor’sspecialqualitiesaresetoutintheStateof theParkReport thataccompaniesthisPartnership PlanandtheLandscapeCharacterAssessment. Asummaryisgivenbelow.

Natural processes and climate change: changing weatherpatternsaffectingwildlifeandhabitats, increasingerosionandfloodrisk,andbringingnew pests,diseasesandpossiblyfavouringinvasive non-nativespecies. Farming, Forestry and Land Management: changestofarmpracticeonExmoorincludingthe numbersandbreedsofgrazingstock,levelsof swaling(burning)onthemoors,under-managed woodlands,andchangestohowconservation fundinghasbeentargeted,drivenprimarilyby Europeanandnationalagriculturaland environmentalpolicy.AsweleavetheEuropean Union,thereisanopportunitytodevelopmore locallytailoredagri-environmentschemes.

Development-led change: thisincludesnew agriculturalbarnsrequiredtotakestockoffthe moorsinwintertocomplywithagri-environment fundingrules;infrastructuresuchasmastsand antennaetodeliverbroadbandandmobilephone coverage;thecapacityfornewhousing. Tourism and recreation-led change: whilethereare greatopportunitiestopromoteenjoymentofthe NationalPark,andthenumberofvisitorstoExmoor cangenerallybeaccommodatedwithout significantimpact,therearesomepopular countrysidevisitorlocationsandsettlementswhere pressuresneedtobecarefullymanaged. Changes outside the National Park: growthand developmentinareassurroundingExmooraffect itssettingandviews,particularlyprominent structuressuchascommunicationmastsandlarge- scalewindturbinesthatarelocatedsomedistance awaybutcanstillbeseenfromthehighmoors.

Lightpollutionfromsurroundingareas(including thelightsalongtheSouthWalescoast)also reducestheoutstandingqualityofdarknightskies. Incremental and cumulative change: someofthe changesarequitesubtleandhappenoveralong timeperiod,andthereforearenotimmediately obvious,suchasthelossofheather,asbracken, gorseandscrubtakeover.Small-scalechangesto buildingsinsettlements(whichareoftennot controlledbyplanning)suchastheuseofuPVC windows,highwayssignageandstreetfurniture canalsohaveanincrementalimpactonthebuilt environmentandstreetscene.Otherchangescan be‘hidden’inthelandscape,suchastheincrease inforestrytracks.Publicconsultationparticularly highlightedthecumulativeeffectofgameshoots infrastructureandmanagement. Valuing Exmoor’s natural and cultural capital: Exmoorisaworkinglandscape.Thenaturaland culturalenvironmentsprovidemanypublic benefitsincludingsupportinglivelihoods,foodand timberproduction,andcleanwaterandair.They alsoprovideabasisforrecreationandleisure, enhancingourhealthandwellbeingandrooting usinplaceandhistory.Understandingthedifferent servicesandbenefitsthattheenvironment provideswillhelpustovaluethesebetter,and makethecaseforinvestmenttomaintainand enhancethemforthefuture.

the challenges and opportunities facing Exmoor View east from Little Hangman Nigel Stone

27 26 Exmoor National Park People l Partnership Plan 2018-23 People WehaveasimpleambitionforExmoorNationalPark: thateveryoneenjoysandnurturesit,whethervisitors orresidents,andbenefitsfromitsspecialqualities. Whethertheycomefromnearorfar,andwhatever theydowhilethey’rehere,wewanttheareato enhancetheirwellbeing,encouragetheirsenseof identityandadventure,andfacilitatetheirenjoyment ofallthatExmoorhastooffer. Atthemoment,Exmoorwelcomesmorethan 1.3millionvisitorseachyear,equatingtoaround 2.15millionvisitordays.Thesearefiguresofwhich we’rejustifiablyproud,andwe’reevenmore delightedthat99%ofvisitorssurveyedratedtheir experiencehereas“good”or“verygood”. Themajorityoflocalpeoplewhorespondedtothe publicopinionsurveyfeltthatthespecialqualities capturewhatisimportantaboutExmoortothem.

Thisiswhatwe’rebuildingonoverthefiveyears ahead:continuingtocareforaplacethatisloved, cherishedandcelebratedbythepeoplewholive here,andwhovisit.Aplacethatcanshapelives,and society.Aplaceforpeople,whatevertheirageor background,andwherevertheycomefrom. Exmoor for All: where everyone feels welcome View over Porlock Bay from Bossington Hill

29 28 Exmoor National Park People l Partnership Plan 2018-23 Exmoor’suniqueenvironmentnourishesmindand body.Whetheritisthroughphysicalactivity,cultural exploration,orsimplyenjoyingthepeaceand tranquillity,thisplacehassomuchtooffer. Wewantasmanypeopleaspossibletobenefitfrom theNationalPark.Butweknowtherearesectorsof societythatwedon’tcurrentlyreach.Nationally,12% ofchildrennevervisitthecountryside,andthereare fewervisitorstoExmooraged25to44:a‘missing generation’.What’smore,welongtosharethis amazinglandscapewithpeoplefromadiverserange ofbackgrounds.

NationalParksarenationalassets,buttherearereal barriersforsomepeopletoaccessthem.These includepracticalissuessuchaslackoftransport,and societalonessuchaslackofexperienceor confidencetoexplorethecountryside. Ourtaskissimple:enableasmanypeopleaspossible tofeelconnectedtoExmoor’slandscape,whether theycomefromnearorfar.Thatway,theycanlearn moreabouttheNationalPark,perhapsgetinvolved throughvolunteering,acquirenewskills,havefun, andhelptomaintainExmoor’sspecialqualities. Our Strategy: l Be inspired: peoplehavearangeofhigh- qualityopportunitiestolearnaboutand understandExmoorthroughdigitaland printedinformationandinterpretation,formal andinformaleducation,attendingeventsor visitingNationalParkCentresandother informationcentres l Get involved: morepeoplevolunteer, enablingdeeperexperiencesand connectionswithExmoorandsupporting NationalParkpurposes l Be connected: morepeopleare enabledtoexperience,enjoyand understandExmoor, particularlyyoungpeople andpeoplefromdiverse backgrounds.Individual healthandwellbeing isenhancedasa resultofengaging withtheNational Park The Exmoor Experience Ambition: More people enjoy Exmoor, are inspired, get involved, and learn about its special qualities Exmoor - a place to dream, discover and explore

31 30 Exmoorhasafantasticnetworkofpathsforpeopleto explore,with1,300kilometresofpublicrightsofway andpermittedpaths,manyofthemwildand rugged,alongwith17,595hectaresofopenaccess land.Thisprovidesunrivalledopportunitiesfor walking,riding,cycling,orjustenjoyingtheview. WiththehighestcliffsinmainlandBritain,Exmoor’s dramaticcoastlinealsomakesitanidealspotfor watersportsincludingcoasteering,kayakingor surfing. Putsimply,inonesmallareayou’vegotallthe ingredientsforagreatadventure.

Allthisispossiblethankstothehardworkand investmentthatgoesintomaintainingourveryhigh- qualitynetworkofpathsandrecreationalfacilities.

Exmoorleadsthewayintheproportionofrightsof waythatareopenandconsideredeasytouse,butit isnoeasytask.Keepingthemintopcondition requiressignificantlevelsofresourceeachyear. Moreover,theeffectsofachangingclimate,with longergrowingperiodsforvegetationand increasingerosionfromheavier,moreintenserainfall, meansthatkeepingthenetworkingoodcondition ismorechallengingthanever.

Our Strategy: l Easy-to-use paths: footpathsandother rightsofwayaremaintainedinverygood condition l More opportunities to enjoy Exmoor: new andenhancedroutesandotherrecreational facilitiesarecreated l Well-managed popular sites, big events and activities: publicenjoymentisenhanced whileminimisingnegativeimpacts Well-managed Recreation and Access Ambition: Exmoor has a first class rights of way network. Our paths, open access and recreational facilities are enhanced to offer more and better experiences for people who want to explore and enjoy the National Park Exmoor’s first class rights of way network includes wild and rugged paths for adventurous exploration and accessible routes for quiet enjoyment.

Long distant walking routes include the iconic South West Coast Path, walking in the footsteps of the Romantic Poets along the Coleridge Way, or crossing two moors in one along the Two Moors Way 96% of rights of way are open and considered easy to use, the highest of all National Parks Exmoor National Park People l Partnership Plan 2018-23 Horse riding on Exmoor Nigel Stone

33 32 TourismisoffundamentalimportancetoExmoor.It contributestotheeconomicandsocialvibrancyof ourcommunities. Withthatinmind,weseektosustainablyextendthe valuethattourismbringstothelocaleconomy, makingsensitiveuseoftheNationalPark’sspecial qualitiesandretaininghighlevelsofvisitor satisfaction. Currently99%ofvisitorstoExmoorratetheoverall qualityoftheexperienceashighorveryhigh.Thisis afantasticachievementforeveryoneinvolved,and somethingofwhichwearejustifiablyproud.Visitor numbershaveremainedsteadyoverthelastfew years,butthenumberofvisitordaysisincreasing, withmorepeoplestayingforaholidayorshortbreak, bringingaddedvaluetothelocaleconomy.There hasalsobeenawelcomeincreaseinvisitorscoming outofseasoninlateautumnandearlyspring.

Now,wewanttobuildonoursuccess,enablinglocal businessestobenefitfromExmoor’sNationalPark status.ThisincludescontinuingtobuildtheExmoor brand,tocelebrateitsspecialqualitiesandestablishit asapremiumdestinationthatpeoplecometoyear afteryear.Oneparticularfocusismarketingpremium goodsandserviceslikedelectableExmoorfoodand drink,whichfurtherbooststhelocaleconomy.And thankstotheCareMoorforExmoorschemethis yieldsadirectbenefittotheconservationofthe NationalPark’sspecialqualities. Our Strategy: l Destination Exmoor: theExmoorbrandis usedtoraiseawarenessoftheNationalPark, andtodriveahighqualityofprovision.This helpslengthentheseasonandbuildthe capacityandresilienceofthetourism industry l Exmoor Food and Drink: newandenhanced routesandotherrecreationalfacilitiesare created l CareMoor for Exmoor: businessesand visitorscontributetokeepingExmoorspecial, helpingtoconserveandenhancethe NationalPark’sspecialqualities Thriving Tourism Built on Sustainability Ambition: The tourism economy is vibrant, innovative and growing, and celebrates Exmoor’s distinctive character The tourism industry brings around £115 million into the local economy and is one of the main sources of employment Exmoor National Park People l Partnership Plan 2018-23 Dunster Steve Guscott

Place NationalParksarenationaltreasures,thejewelsinthe crownofourbeautifulcountryside,cherishedat homeandadmiredoverseas. WewantExmoorNationalParktocontinueasaliving, vibrantlandscapeofcompellingnaturalbeauty, diversewildlife,andrichculturalheritage.By celebratingExmoorasauniqueplace,wewill encouragestewardshipofit,ensuringitisnurtured anditsvaluerecognised. Thatway,wecanhelpthegovernmentfulfilits ambitionfortheUKtohavethebestnatural environmentintheworld,andforustoleavethe planetinabetterconditionforfuturegenerations. Inspiring Landscapes: diverse and beautiful, rich in wildlife and history 35 34 Exmoor National Park Place l Partnership Plan 2018-23 Valley of Rocks and Wringcliff Bay © Historic England Archive

37 36 Exmoor National Park Place l Partnership Plan 2018-23 Exmoor is remarkable, even among other National Parks, for the very diversity of its landscapes. It is justly famous not only for windswept, open, heather moors, but also dramatic high coastal cliffs, seascapes, intimate wooded valleys and attractive enclosed farmland. Exmoor is one of the few upland areas in southern Britain, offering far-reaching views across the National Park and to surrounding areas including the seascape of the Bristol Channel. The mix of geology, landform, climate and human interaction create distinct habitats rich in wildlife, and full of clues in the landscape as to how people lived and worked here over generations.

The wild herds of Red deer and free-roaming Exmoor ponies are iconic parts of the Exmoor experience: they are what every visitor wants to see.

Interspersed through the landscape are the towns, villages, hamlets and farmsteads which are themselves a part of Exmoor’s charm. The presence of several large estates has had a significant effect on the landscape. Some continue to this day, but others can only be glimpsed through relics of designed landscapes or model farms, providing a window to the past. The many traditional farms on Exmoor that have been in the same family for generations create the characteristic patchwork of fields separated by hedgebanks. Recent trends show that these farms are expanding, or being sold off as smallholdings or for equestrian use, which changes their character.

It is the natural beauty of these landscapes that justifies Exmoor’s status as a National Park, and is the primary draw for visitors. Exmoor’s magnificent landscapes have changed over time and will continue to change. We want to ensure these beautiful places continue to be looked after, celebrated and understood. Our Strategy: l Conserve character: Exmoor’sdiverse landscapesandseascapesaremaintained, withlocalenhancementstotheircharacter l Celebrate natural beauty: peopleexperience andunderstandExmoor’sbeautifullandscapes l Be Inspired: wetellthestoriesofExmoor’s naturalandculturalheritageandhowthey haveevolvedandchangedovertime Celebrated Landscapes Ambition: The natural beauty, distinct character and diversity of Exmoor’s landscapes are celebrated, conserved and enhanced “Nowhere else in Britain can greater variety of scene be found than within the comparatively small territory of the Exmoor National Park” (SH Burton 1975) 85% of visitors to Exmoor are motivated to visit by the landscape Sillery Sands Dan James

39 38 Exmoor National Park Place l Partnership Plan 2018-23 NationalParksareourbreathingspaces,andin Exmooryoucantakeabreakfromthebustleof busymodernlivestorefreshyourspiritand rechargeyourbatteries.Exmoorisoneofthefew placesinsouthernBritainwhereyoucanenjoy remoteness,wildnessandtranquillity.The expansive,openmoorsarewildandexhilarating, andcreateasenseofunrestrainedfreedom. Exmoorhasanunrivalleddiversityoflandscapeby dayandastellarsky-scapebynight.Weareproud thatExmoorwasdesignatedasthefirstDarkSky ReserveinEurope.TheNationalParkisremarkably freefromlightpollution,providingunrivalledviews ofourspectacularstarryskies. WithintheNationalPark,planningpolicieshelpto ensurethatnecessarydevelopmentcanbe accommodated,whileprotectingtheessential characterofthisveryspecialplace.However, Exmoorisnotanisland,andgrowthand developmentinsurroundingareascanaffectthe settingoftheNationalParkorevenlong-distant viewsfromExmoor.Landmanagementpractices, andsomerecreationalactivities,ifnotmanaged sympathetically,candetractfromthescenicquality andtranquillityoftheNationalPark.Wewantto ensurethatdevelopment,landmanagement,and recreationaresensitivetoExmoor’sspecialqualities. Our Strategy: l Protect wildness: Exmoor’swild characterispreserved l Celebrate natural beauty: thetranquilnature ofExmoorisprotected,facilitatingthesimple, quietenjoymentoftheNationalPark l Discover dark skies: morepeopleare encouragedtodiscoverthemagicofExmoor DarkSkyReserve;anditisprotectedfrom lightpollution l Sympathetic development: development withinandaffectingtheNationalPark enhanceslandscapeandseascapecharacter andthebuiltenvironment,utilising high-qualitydesign Wildness and Tranquillity with Dark Night Skies, and Sensitive Development Ambition: Exmoor is somewhere you can experience tranquillity, openness, wildness and dark night skies.

Development is sensitive to the National Park’s special qualities and conserves its scenic quality and setting Exmoor is one of the best places in the country to enjoy star-gazing, with 92% pristine dark skies and minimal light pollution Blagdon Cross startrails Adrian Cubitt

41 40 Thereissomethingundeniablycompellingabout ourconnectionwiththepast.Whetherit’svisiting anancientburialsite,exploringtheroomsofa historicbuilding,witnessingalocalcustom,or understandingtherhythmofatraditionalruralway oflife,itgivesusasenseofwherewe’vecomefrom andofourownplaceintime. Withtheseeminglyever-increasingpaceof change,itfeelsmoreimportantthaneverto preservealinkbetweenthepastandpresent. Knowledgeofourhistoryencouragesustotakea longerview,evenaswelookforward. Exmoor’shistoriclandscapesprovidearecordof howpeoplehavelivedhereforthousandsofyears.

Exmoorisparticularlyimportantbecausethereare somanyundisturbedarchaeologicalsitesand monumentsandprobablymoretobediscovered. Weneedtoensurethatthewholeofourhistoric environmentisunderstood,well-managed,and betterprotected.Wealsowanttoensurethat Exmoor’sculturallandscapes,customsand traditionsaremorewidelyknownandvalued. Furtherresearchwillcontributegreatlytoour understandingofthepast.

Our Strategy: l Increase understanding: thewholeofour historicenvironmentisbetterunderstood andExmoor’sculturallandscapes,customs andtraditionsaremorewidelyknownand valued l Nurture heritage: ourhistoricenvironmentis well-managedandbetterprotected l Get involved: morepeopleareinvolvedin learningaboutandconservingExmoor’s historicenvironmentandculturalheritage l Build heritage skills: theskills,knowledge andtraditionsthathaveshapedExmoor’s landscapesarekeptalive.Innovationensures theyaresustainedinwaysthatarerelevantto thecontemporaryworld Valued Historic Environment and Cultural Heritage Ambition: Exmoor’s historic environment is better understood, cared for and protected.

Its cultural heritage and rural traditions are valued for their place in telling Exmoor’s story and shaping its future Exmoor has 200 scheduled monuments, 740 listed buildings, 16 conservation areas, 2 registered parks and gardens and over 11,000 entries on the Historic Environment Record Exmoor National Park Place l Partnership Plan 2018-23 All Saints’ Church, Dulverton Pete Rae

43 42 Exmoor National Park Place l Partnership Plan 2018-23 Exmoor’sspectacularmoorland,richoakwoodland, rollingfarmland,clearstreamsanddramatic coastlineformamosaicofhabitatsincludingheath, blanketbog,ancientwoodlands,species-rich grassland,andhighqualityfreshwaterandmarine habitats.Thisisoneofthekeyattractionsfor peoplevisitingtheNationalPark,andisalsohighly valuedbypeoplelivingandworkinghere. Notablespeciesinclude16ofthe17breeding BritishbatspeciesfoundintheUK,otters,dormice, andsomeoftheUK’srarestbutterfliesincluding theheathandhighbrownfritillary.Awiderangeof birdscanalsobeseenonExmoor,bothcommon andrarerspecies,manyofwhicharenational conservationprioritiesincludingmoorland, woodlandandfarmlandspecialists,awiderangeof birdsofprey,andseabirdsalongExmoor’scoast.

Thenetworksofancientsessileoakwoodlands containrarelichensandoneofthedensest collectionsofveterantreesinEurope,illustrating thelonghistoryoftreeandwoodland managementonExmoor.Thebeautifulriversthat riseonExmoorareimportantandsensitivehabitats thatsupportawiderangeofwildlifeincludingthe internationallyvulnerableAtlanticsalmon. Thankstocarefulmanagementbyfarmersandland managers,muchofExmoor’swildlifeisfaringwell comparedwithotherpartsofthecountry.But changesinlandmanagementfavoursomehabitats andspeciesoverothers,andclimatechangeis addingtothechallengesfacedbymanyspecies.

TherearealsoongoingthreatstoExmoor’swildlife fromdiseaseandinvasivenon-nativespecies,and alsodisturbancefromrecreationalactivities. WeneedtoensurethatExmoor’swildlifeisingood condition,wellconnected,andresilientsothatwe canpassontherichnessanddiversityofhabitats andspeciestofuturegenerations.Fortunately, therearemanypartnersandvolunteerswillingto getinvolvedinhelpingtoachievethis. Our Strategy: l Conserve and enhance wildlife: Exmoor’s richmosaicofwildlifehabitatsandtheir associateddiversityofspeciesaremaintained, enhanced,expanded,andthereforemade moreconnectedandresilient l Control invasive species: thespreadof non-nativeinvasiveplantandanimalspecies isbeingcontrolledand populationsarereducing, suchthatnativespeciescan re-establish l Increase understanding: habitatsandspeciesonExmoorarebetter understoodandtrendsandchangesintheir conditionanddistributionaremonitoredso thatconservationeffortscanbeeffectively targeted l Get involved: Peoplelivinginandvisitingthe NationalParkunderstandandareinspiredby Exmoor’sspecialwildlifeandcanbecome engagedwithitsconservation Rich in Wildlife Ambition: Exmoor is richer in wildlife.

Habitats are in good condition, expanded, connected, and support a greater abundance of species Some of Exmoor’s moorland birds are not faring so well, such as curlew, merlin, kestrel and Dartford warbler, or are no longer found here at all: lapwing, ring ouzel and red grouse. Other species typically associated with lowland areas are increasing on Exmoor including linnet, reed bunting and yellowhammer Reed bunting Mike Richards (rspb-images.com)

45 44 Exmoor National Park Partnership Plan 2018-23 Prosperity NationalParksarenationaltreasures,thejewelsinthe crownofourbeautifulcountryside,cherishedat homeandadmiredoverseas. WewantExmoorNationalParktocontinueasaliving, vibrantlandscapeofcompellingnaturalbeauty, diversewildlife,andrichculturalheritage.By celebratingExmoorasauniqueplace,wewill encouragestewardshipofit,ensuringitisnurtured anditsvaluerecognised. Thatway,wecanhelpthegovernmentfulfilits ambitionfortheUKtohavethebestnatural environmentintheworld,andforustoleavethe planetinabetterconditionforfuturegenerations. Working landscapes: thriving communities and a vibrant local economy Exmoor National Park Prosperity l Partnership Plan 2018-23 West Ilkerton Farm Victoria Eveleigh

47 46 Exmoor National Park Prosperity l Partnership Plan 2018-23 Exmoor’slandscapeshavebeencreatedthrough theinteractionofpeopleandnatureovercenturies. Forexample,withoutthegrazingoftraditional breedsofcattleandsheep,Exmoorponies,and ReddeerExmoor,wouldbeaverydifferentplace. Theongoingmanagementoftheselandscapesis crucialtomaintainingExmoor’sspecialqualities. Theextensivegrasslandfarmingsystemsthat predominateonExmoorcanalsoprotectother elementsofnaturalcapitalsuchashealthysoils andpeatbogsthatlockupcarbon,holdbackwater toreducefloodrisk,andprovidecleanwaterfor aroundhalfamillionpeople. Buttherearemanychallengesahead,particularly theuncertaintyoverfutureagricultural,forestryand environmentalpolicyandfundingasweleavethe EuropeanUnion.Manyuplandfarmbusinesses struggletobeviableduetothevolatilityofmarket valuesforproductssuchasbeef,sheepandtimber, andfluctuationsininputcosts,andsubsidies provideanimportantpartoffarmincome.Farmers willneedhelptodiversifyorincreasetheirfarming income.Likemanyruralareas,Exmoorhasanageing populationandsofarmsuccessionandsupporting youngfarmersandnewentrantsisimportantto ensurethatskillsandexperienceareretained. Our Strategy: l Prepare for the future: collaborativeworking thatinfluencesagricultural,forestryand environmentalpolicyandfundingtosupport thefutureofhillfarmingandforestryonExmoor l Innovate: newapproachestorural developmentandenvironmental managementaretrialled l Grown on Exmoor: themarketforlocal producesuchashealthyfoodandgood- qualitytimbercontinuestogrow l Game shoots: gameshootingcontinuesto provideabalancedcontributiontoExmoor’s specialqualitiesandlocaleconomy l Iconic Exmoor species: healthypopulations ofwildReddeerandExmoorponiesare maintained l Local breeds: ExmoorHornandDevon Closewoolsheep,RedRubyDevoncattleand othertraditionaluplandbreedscontinuetobe anessentialpartofExmoor’slandmanagement Working Landscapes Ambition: Exmoor’s land-based communities and businesses are supported to provide healthy food and good quality timber, and ensure that Exmoor’s landscapes continue to be well managed and cared for Traditional breeds are specialist grazers, keeping grass and scrub under control and allowing a wider range of plants to flourish Hill Barn, Kersham Hill Nigel Stone

49 48 Exmoor National Park Prosperity l Partnership Plan 2018-23 ExmoorNationalParkisaworld-classenvironment, enjoyedbymillionsofpeople,andgenerating millionsofpoundsthroughthevalueofthe businessesbasedhere.Thesebusinessesareproud tobeassociatedwithExmoorandmakethemost oftheuniqueopportunitiesandexperiencesthat beinglocatedintheNationalParkprovides. Wearekeentoencourageeconomicactivityinthe NationalPark,especiallyifitbenefitsfromand enhancesthelocalenvironment.Exmoorhas alwaysbeenhometoentrepreneursand innovators,anditisimportantthatthiscontinues, whereconsistentwithNationalParkpurposes.That way,wewillsupportnewideasandinvestment thathelptomakelifeintheNationalParkmore sustainableandresilient.

Our Strategy: l Prepare for the future: innovationand increasedproductivityareencouraged.Key sectorssuchasfarming,tourismand business,particularlymicrobusinesses,are moreresilient,andstronglinksaremade betweenthem l Sustainable growth: economic developmentiscompatiblewithExmoor’s specialqualities l Rural pathways to employment: peopleare supportedtoenterthejobmarket,including througharangeofapprenticeships l Exmoor’s environmental economy: traditionalandnewskillsareretained, attractedanddevelopedbasedonExmoor’s naturalandculturalcapital Strong Local Economy Ambition: The local economy is more sustainable with increased innovation, entrepreneurship and improved economic prospects More than 50% of businesses in National Parks believe their performance is improved by being in a National Park Shearwell Data Nigel Stone

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