The strange case of the missing 10,000ha of Dartmoor Training Area SSSI

a new nature blog

A couple of weeks ago, the Government released a list of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in public hands, in response to a question from Caroline Lucas. The list indicated that over 70,000ha of Defence owned land was SSSI. That’s a hefty chunk of their 200,000ha of land in England.

I had a look down the list and noticed that according to Defra, the MoD only has 1008ha of the North Dartmoor SSSI, which has a total area of 13,559ha. Having surveyed 5000ha of the Dartmoor Training Area for the MoD in 2006 and 2007, that didn’t sound right to me.

As this map shows, the army have around 11,000ha of the North Dartmoor SSSI under their control.

Dartmoor training area overlaid on SSSI

Most of that land is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall and leased to the army for training. The lease was up in 2012, but I am pretty sure it has…

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About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
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