Thursday, 5 May 2016

The Graze the Moor Project - Molland Moor, Exmoor

Allan Butler, Richard Langdon (farmer), Dave Barrow (Moorkeeper)
and Janet Dwyer at Luckworthy Farm
I had an away-day to Exmoor, yesterday.  It is a bit of a challenge from Dumfries but with trains and the sleeper running sweetly, it is not a problem.

The Graze the Moor project is a partnership project with the main players being The Molland Estate, the Exmoor National Park Authority, and Natural England. As Project Manager I am responsible for the delivery of the project plan and the inevitable bureaucracy that surrounds such a project.  funding is being provided by Exmoor NPA, through their Partnership Fund with contributions from the other partners included The Heather Trust.  The project is running for five years and the second year was completed at the end of March.

A new recruit - 'Juggernaut'
a former native of Dumfries-shire
The purpose of yesterday's visit was to introduce Prof Janet Dwyer, from the University of Gloucestershire and Dr Allan Butler from the Royal Agricultural University to the project as I have invited them to provide some input to the economic comparison that is part of the project and to consider how to carry out the external evaluation of the project in its final year.  

The economic comparison seeks to identify the difference in income and expenditure between farms that graze the moor with hill livestock and those that have different breeds but keep them on in-bye land or in buildings. It is not a straightforward exercise and I am hoping that the challenge will be accepted.

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