Park bids for £4m lottery cash to tell the story of Dartmoor's people and landscape
Staff at Dartmoor National Park Authority are excited by the prospects of a possible £4 million in additional funding which could land on the area's granite doorstep next year if a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is successful.
Ali Kohler, the authority's director for conservation and communities, explained that the scheme, called Moor Than Meets the Eye, is about telling the story of people and landscape over 4,000 years on Dartmoor.
Work undertaken so far has released £100,000 from HLF to help work up detailed proposals that will go in to a full bid in 2014.
Ali explained: "Being a landscape partnership scheme, the project has to help preserve heritage in things like archeology and the ecology of the area and show that we are developing projects which involve communities and improve access so people can enjoy that heritage.
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"Alongside that, we have to develop projects like training for people who might take forward those schemes.
"Probably the easiest way for local communities to get involved is though a project called Parish-scapes which is where we work with local communities and help them look at and record what's special in their area and then maybe provide some grant-aid to help them look after, repair, or share that local heritage with locals and visitors.
"Here at Postbridge we have a project looking at hay meadows – we haven't got many of these meadows left in good condition, so what we'd like to do in that project is look after the ones we've got and maybe expand them further. Perhaps looking at managing them in a traditional way and getting the local community involved in that.
"None of this is funding for the work the national park would normally do," emphasised Ali. "This is funding for projects where we would be a lead partner – but it's also funding for some of our other partners like the Woodland Trust, Natural England, Dartmoor Preservation Association, Dartmoor Farmers, Dartmoor Partnership and local communities. It is about the things we would like to do, but have not had the funding for in the past."
The outcome of the national park authority's Moor Than Meets the Eye HLF bid should be known in early 2014.