The Natural Environment

Ecosystem health is important to us as farmers. We endeavour to work with nature for the good of our farm animals and the wildlife around us.

Cattle sheep and ponies fertilise the pastures with their dung helping to maintain healthy soils and in turn an abundance of plant, invertebrate and vertebrate species.

Our soils are naturally acidic and black in colour indicating the high peat content which makes them an important carbon store. These peaty soils do hold a lot of water in the wet periods consequently our cattle are housed in sheds for the winter to prevent poaching and soil erosion.

Throughout the year the display of flora on the farm changes significantly with the season, from vibrant mosses and lichen on the granite walls and boulders to Ragged Robin, Orchids and Violets in the meadow, there is always something to see.

On a farm walk across the fields and moorland you could hear the Grasshopper Warblers in the summer and the Cuckoo in the spring; see a Barn owl hunting in the evening and see Skylarks flying over higher ground. Taking a closer look beneath our feet reveals a wealth of invertebrate life, and the chance to examine mole hills, hunt for worms and feel the texture of our soils.

Guided field study activities give students the opportunity to learn more about the Moorland ecosystem.

Discovering the wonders of the natural world during your visit to Tor Royal Farm could also be a great way to get started on your ‘John Muir award’.

Dartmoor pony

Dartmoor rivers 

River wildlife