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Functions & Duties


The Dartmoor Commoners' Council has the duty to maintain the commons and to promote proper standards of livestock husbandry on the commons. The Council shall also have regard for the conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty of the commons, and their use as a place of recreation for enjoyment by the public.

In summary, the Commoners' Council may:

  • protect the commons and render assistance to any commoner in the maintenance of his rights of common.
  • burn heather, gorse, grass and bracken on the commons to such extent as in their opinion is desirable for purposes of livestock husbandry.
  • plant clumps of trees (not exceeding one acre as respects any clump) for the protection of animals depastured on the commons, and fence and enclose trees following any such planting for as long as may be necessary to afford protection from animals. Provided that any tree so planted shall be of a broad-leaved species naturally growing on Dartmoor and any clump so planted shall be not less than one mile from any other clump of trees.
  • enter into agreements with any owner of any of the land within any of the areas edged pink on the plan referred to in section 2 of the Act for the management by the Commonersí Council of grazing thereon.
  • have power to do any thing (whether or not involving the expenditure, setting aside, borrowing, investment or lending of money, or the acquisition or disposal of any property or rights) which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the discharge of any of their functions

The Commoners' Council shall make regulations to ensure good husbandry and health of animals on the commons, ensure that the commons are not overstocked, and make other regulations as they see fit to enable them to meet their duties under the Act.

The Commoners' Council shall appoint reeves for the purpose of enforcing or securing compliance with the regulations.

The Commoners' Council shall maintain a register of commoners, and animals grazing on the commons

The Commoners' Council shall provide support and advice to the National Park Authority.

(Refer to the Act for full details of the Council's duties and obligations).

Crazy Well Cross

Dartmoor Commoners' Council, 1 Canal Road, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 8AR  Tel: 01822 618892

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Last updated 6th January 2022