Geoffrey met with senior representatives of Natural England on Thursday, 22 July 2021, at Cox Tor on Dartmoor to discuss the future of livestock farming on the Moor and other local issues.
Topics raised with Michaela Barwell, Operations Manager for Devon, and Eamon Crowe, Team Leader for South Devon and Dartmoor, included the introduction of the Environmental Land Management Scheme and the need for productive agriculture which is both profitable for farmers and sustainable for the environment.
Wider issues affecting the constituency were also discussed, such as the increased pressure from visitors on the Moor’s most precious sites, the proposed extension of the Tamar Valley AONB, coastal erosion at Westward Ho! and the management of the old landfill site at Northam Burrows.
“As part of my regular dialogue with the statutory agencies that are so important to the lives of local people, I had a useful discussion with Natural England about how we can help promote viable farming on the Moor while safeguarding the Agency’s statutory objectives. I am very grateful to NE for their time and for listening so carefully to the points I made. We agreed on the vital function that farmers play on Dartmoor and on the increased pressure Dartmoor is under from its huge numbers of visitors, some of whom sadly appear to have no respect for the sensitivity and fragility of the land.”