It is time we rewrote the Dartmoor Commons Act with the climate crisis in mind, Liberal Democrat candidate for South Devon Caroline Voaden told her party’s annual conference in Bournemouth on Tuesday.
Speaking in a debate on new party policy on Tackling the Nature Crisis, Voaden referenced the importance of Dartmoor peatlands in our efforts to cut our carbon emissions.
Peat can play an important role in absorbing carbon yet the University of Exeter estimates that only 1% of Dartmoor’s peatlands are in good condition.
“The Dartmoor Commons Act was written in 1985, and I believe it’s time we revisited it with the climate crisis as a focus,” Voaden told the conference.
“I hope that Richard Foord MP, myself and potentially other Liberal Democrat MPs from Devon will be part of a campaign to reimagine Dartmoor. To promote the restoration of its peatlands, to protect its Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and to allow access for responsible leisure activities like wild camping, hiking and swimming in its rivers. And to support its farmers through environmental payments.
“There are many aspects of Dartmoor that we need to protect, but its deep peatlands are crucial – rewetting and restoring them so they can do their bit to help us address our climate crisis.”
Voaden was speaking to a motion on Tackling the Nature Crisis, which saw policy passed that would protect and enhance environmental standards, help farmers shift towards wildlife friendly farming, manage our seas, lakes, rivers and streams for nature and recognise everyone’s human right to a healthy environment.
It would also mandate the disclosure of impacts on nature in major financial and business sectors and uphold the highest environmental standards in future trade deals.
The conference also passed an ambitious food and farming policy which acknowledged the difficult atmosphere farmers are working in and the importance of supporting their vital work to address both climate and nature crises by transitioning to nature friendly farming.
You can read all the policy motions here: Autumn 2023 Conference – Liberal Democrats (libdems.org.uk)
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