The local community

National Parks contain small towns and villages as well as more isolated farms. Some areas of towns or villages are protected as conservation areas to keep their traditional look and feel.

Some families have lived in the area for many generations. Traditionally people would make money from the landscape around them, as farmers, fishermen, foresters, miners or as craftsmen. In recent years these jobs are in decline as people can't make enough from them, and many communities rely on money from tourism.

National park authorities have to protect the countryside, let people enjoy the countryside, and also make sure that local communities can make a living.

Read the aims and purposes of National Parks for more details.

Take a virtual tour around the towns and villages of Dartmoor

Meet Duncan Taylor, a giftshop owner in a national park

What are the benefits of working in a national Park?

Benefits here

What are the problems of working in a national park?

Problems here

Farmers in National Parks

Farming plays a key role in shaping the landscape in national parks. Agricultural land forms a large part of national parks' countryside and farming is a big part of everyday life in local communities.

There are different types of farming in national parks, from upland sheep farming to lowland arable farming. Many farmers find it hard to make money just from farming, so they do other things to make money, like opening farm shops to sell their produce direct to visitors, or opening their farms for school trips.

National park authorities have staff who work closely with farmers. We help them apply for grants that pay money to farmers who farm in ways that help protect the countryside. We give advice and sometimes work with volunteers to do practical work like repairing dry stone walls or footpaths.

Meet Jamie Fisher, a farmer in a National Park

What is your farm like?

Audio 1 file here

What is it like farming in this landscape?

Audio 2 file here

What changes are happening in farming?

Audio 3 file here

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a farmer in a national park?

Audio 4 file here

Have you looked into diversifying beyond farming?

Audio 5 file here