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The Bodmin Moor Project

It has also been used as an example of 'Best Practice' for other projects nationally.

Based at the Bodmin Business Centre, the project was established in 1999 to support a viable and sustainable agricultural economy, with the aim of protecting and revitalising the moor. The Project is one of only two such schemes nationally, the other being in the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire.

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The project was funded by a partnership of the former MAFF (now DEFRA), the EU, Cornwall Council, South West of England Rural Development Agency, English Nature, Countryside Agency and the private sector. The Project has since exceeded many of its targets for diversification and farm improvement projects and in particular the number of businesses taking up Countryside Stewardship.

Key areas the project included:

  • Protecting and enhancement of the environment;
  • Working with individual farm businesses;
  • Working with Commons Associations;
  • Promoting quality livestock from the Moor and;
  • Tourism and service marketing.

One of the project's strategic aims was to bring common land into environmentally sensitive agricultural production. Such environmental enhancement was approached through the Government's Countryside Stewardship Scheme and partnership schemes with English Nature.

The project has been in direct contact with 400 businesses and 319 farm businesses have officially registered interest. Funding for Business and Environmental Appraisals has been received by 121 businesses and 36 businesses have benefited from capital investment. In turn, this has enabled 16 diversification projects and 29 farm improvement projects.

In an innovative approach to improving and promoting the quality livestock produced on the Moor, the Bodmin Moor Farmers Club was set up in 1999 in partnership with KVN Stockdale. Club membership has been rising steadily.

A promotional website has been developed by a local farm business