Exmoor's Ambition

Our transformative proposal for sustaining and enhancing Exmoor’s farmed landscapes and communities after Brexit

The vote to leave Europe in June 2016 led to significant debate and concern around the future of Exmoor’s landscape, economy and farming community.  

During 2017, the Government, through the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), encouraged the people of Exmoor to develop new ideas for incentivising the wide range of public benefits provided by farming and other land management.  In response to this, and to a clear appetite from the Exmoor farming community to influence future policy and investment, a steering group was set up to explore the potential for a locally designed scheme.

The steering group comprises the Exmoor Hill Farming Network, ENPA, Exmoor Society, Natural England, RSPB and private landowners. Robin Milton, the Authority Chairman is chair.

Robert Deane of Rural Focus was commissioned to work with the Steering group, local people, farmers and wider stakeholders to develop the concept. Professor Janet Dwyer of CCRI was asked to consider governance models and additional support was received from Robin Wight of the Engine Group on publicity and marketing.

In a Nutshell

Exmoor’s Ambition is for a single locally-delivered scheme which:

  • Has the concept of natural capital at its heart;
  • Is driven by results and evidence of what works;
  • Uses trust and co-operation to replace regulation and form-filling;
  • Encourages new thinking, especially from the next generation;
  • Is co-designed and delivered by farmers and land managers;
  • Recognises the importance of branding and promotion of goods and services to secure a premium income for their producers;
  • Would be delivered through a team of farm liaison officers, with processes of peer review and continuous learning, resulting in more effective and low administrative costs.  To date, the ideas have received overwhelming support, in particular the bottom-up approach, using the skills of Exmoor farmers to help to develop the scheme.

You can read the full document here - Exmoor's Ambition (pdf)

We Welcome Comments

If you would like to give us feedback on the Exmoor Ambition document or contribute to discussion about the future of Exmoor’s farmed landscapes and rural communities, please