DARTMOOR is set to gain a sibling.
In a first for UK National Parks, Dartmoor will become the official ‘Sister Park’ of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a 33,000-acre protected landscape in Ohio, USA.
The partnership aims to help both parks protect their landscapes by sharing knowledge on key issues such as conservation, tackling climate change and sustainable tourism.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, situated between Cleveland and Akron in northeast Ohio, was originally designated as a National Recreation Area in 1974 before being redesignated as a National Park in 2000. Its 33,000 acres comprise of deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. A central feature is the 22-mile stretch of the Cuyahoga River – meaning ‘crooked’ river, which indigenous Americans used as an important trade route for thousands of years.
Currently, around 69 National Parks and protected areas in more than 30 countries enjoy Sister Park status with US National Parks. However, Dartmoor will be the first in the UK to take part in the partnership scheme.
Dartmoor and Cuyahoga share many similarities, and both are tackling priorities such as nature recovery, climate change, making tourism more sustainable and community outreach.
Led by Dartmoor National Park Authority’s Deputy Chair Peter Harper, the agreement was unanimously supported by the Authority earlier this month.
Peter said: ‘We’re very proud to be the first UK National Park to enter a Sister Parks arrangement and are excited to establish closer links with Cuyahoga Valley and the US National Parks Service. The agreement helps us share knowledge and best practice on what we’re both doing to tackle the challenges we face as well as making the most of the opportunities that come our way.
‘Dartmoor was among the first in the UK to be designated a National Park and has a long and proud history of working with others to protect its special places. We hope this new sister park agreement will build on existing international relationships and provide a stronger voice for the global family of National Parks.’
The Sister Park partnership usually lasts five years but can be modified by either side at any time. Areas identified for possible collaboration include outreach and engagement work – particularly with people in socially or economically disadvantaged areas – agri-environment and conservation management, volunteer programmes and access to different funding streams.