How are granite landscapes used?
Human activity on Dartmoor
Dartmoor is a National Park located in the south west of England (see map below). It is located on the top of an exposed, granite batholith. Humans use Dartmoor in a range of ways and these are explored below.
Quarrying on Dartmoor
Granite is quarried and is used as a building stone for flooring and kitchen worktops. In the past granite blocks were used for dry-stone walling, buildings and road stone. Many quarries are now abandoned. Dartmoor has a large number of granite quarries e.g. Meldon Quarry. Nelson’s Column was built using granite from Dartmoor.
Tourism on Dartmoor
Dartmoor is a National Park, popular for walking, camping and pony trekking. Over 10 million people enjoy the granite landscape each year. Popular attractions include Hound Tor and Bowerman’s Nose.
Farming on Dartmoor
The soils are poor and acidic, and frequently used for sheep farming rather than growing crops. Over 290 000 hectares of land is used for pastoral farming (rearing livestock) and just 900 hectares of land is used for arable farming (growing crops).
Mining on Dartmoor
Copper and tin mining used to be common in the area. The metals were found in thin veins within the granite.
Water on Dartmoor
Due to granite being impermeable Dartmoor is an ideal location for building reservoirs. There are 8 reservoirs on Dartmoor e.g. Avon Dam reservoir.
Problems on Dartmoor
Quarrying, mining and china clay extraction can leave scars on the landscape, making it less attractive for both tourists and local people.
Tourism causes pollution and congestion on the roads. Tourist activities can sometimes lead to conflict with local people.
Tourists buy second homes, pushing up property prices so that locals cannot afford to buy. Rural poverty is becoming a problem in areas such as Dartmoor.
Use the images below to explore related GeoTopics.