Video. Dartmoor National Park

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Video. Dartmoor National Park

Watch the film and be ready to do the assignments.

Dartmoor is one of eleven National Parks in England and Wales. The Dartmoor National Park Rangers work together with local residents and farmers protect the delicate balance of the environment so that ten million day visitors a year cn enjoy the beauty of the area. Willem Montagne, the Education Ranger, talks about the landscape and history of Dartmoor and explains why conservation is so important.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous novel was first published in 1902 and has been a best-seller ever since. In the story, the Baskerville family is said to be haunted by a large black dog that roams Dartmoor. The detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend Doctor Watson go the moor to investigate the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville.

H.M. Prison Dartmoor

Dartmoor Prison at Princetown was built in the 19th century house French prisoners of war. It became a top security prison for Britain’s most dangerous criminals. Today the prison houses around 600 prisoners.


1 – 3 The landscape (In Clips 1 to 3 Willem introduces Dartmoor and its scenery).

Comprehension Tasks

Clip 1. Willem talks about the popular image of Dartmoor. Which of these things does he mention?
  the prison ponies the Hound of the Baskervilles the scenery Sherlock Holmes


Clip 2. Willem talks about the landscape. Tick (V) the points that he makes in this section. A. Dartmoor looks bare and empty at first sight. B. Some background knowledge helps you to appreciate Dartmoor better. C. People enjoy discovering Dartmoor without a guide. D. In the summer it’s difficult to get away from the crowds on Dartmoor.


Clip 3. Willem talks here about the size of Dartmoor. Tick (V) the statements that are true: A. Dartmoor is the largest open area in England. B. Dartmoor was created national park because it is popular with tourists. C. It would take more than a day to cross Dartmoor on foot. D. Dartmoor has always been a wild, deserted place. E. The landscape of Dartmoor has not been changed by the people living there.


Match these words you heard in Clips 1 to 3 to the word or phrase with the closest meaning on the right.

1) superficially 2) remains 3) natural history 4) subtle 5) solitude 6) major (adj.) 7) appreciate 8) venture (v) 9) wilderness 10) influencing 11) landscape (n) a) on the surface, unimportantly; b) what is still left, clues; c) plants and animals, ancient monuments; d) not obvious, invisible, impossible to find; e) loneliness, being alone; f) important, grey, serious; g) understand, increase, admire; h) go to a dangerous place, walk, drive; i) desert, wild area, empty area; j) affecting, damaging, enhancing; k) view, nature, scenery




Work in groups. Discuss these questions:

1. What new things have you found out about Dartmoor?

2. Have you visited any natural parks in your own country?

3. Do you enjoy solitude? When do you appreciate being alone – and what do you dislike about it?


4 – 7. History and archaeology (In Clips 4 to 7 Willem invites us to explore the history of Dartmoor).


Comprehension tasks.

Clip 4. We hear from Willem about Dartmoor during the Bronze Age (4.000 years ago). Tick (V) the information that he gives us: A. During the Bronze Age Dartmoor was more intensively farmed than now. B. The climate in the Bronze Age was milder, and higher ground could be cultivated. C. As the climate became colder, the higher fields and settlements were abandoned. D. Dartmoor was divided up into fields and administrative areas in the Bronze Age.


Clip 5. Willem shows us the remains of a “hut circle”. Tick (V) only the information he gives us: A. The Bronze Age farmers kept sheep and other animals and grew cereals and beans. B. The Bronze Age houses were grouped together in small villages. C. Each little house had its own garden. D. The Bronze Age people’s “huts” were actually quite large.
Clip 6. Willem shows us Horns Cross, a medieval cross. Each of these sentences contains a mistake. Find the mistakes and correct them: A. In the Middle Ages (1000 – 1500 AD) travelers found their way across the moor by following other people. B. Medieval travelers were sorry to find a cross on their way across the moor. C. Today people can no longer follow the routes marked by the medieval crosses. D. Nowadays people use guidebooks and compasses to find their way across the open moor.


Clip 7. You see the remains of a tin mine. Tick (V) the information Willem gives us: A. Tin mining was an important industry until the beginning of the 20th century. B. The tin miners extracted the tin ore by digging holes in the hillsides. C. When the surface deposits of ore were exhausted, deep underground mining began. D. The remains of the miners’ excavations protect animals and plants from the weather.




Match each of these words used in Clips 4 to 7 with a word or phrase from the list on the right which has a similar meaning:

1) boundary 2) orderly 3) conical 4) sizeable 5) substantially 6) medieval 7) compass 8) navigate 9) gully 10) excavate 11) shelter a) cone-shaped b) dig c) find one’s way d) from the Middle Ages e) gadget that shows north f) hollow or pit g) large h) line dividing two areas i) methodical j) protected place k) significally


Work in groups. Discuss these questions:

1. Think of a historic place or an archaeological site you’ve visited and tell your partners about it.

2. What was most impressive and interesting about the place?

3. What was disappointing or dull about it?


8 – 10. The national park-its aims (In Clips 8 to 10 parks and how they are different from country to country).

Before you view

Work in pairs. Read the text about national parks. Find the answers to these questions in the text:

1. When was the world’s first national park set up?

2. Which is the largest national park in the world?

3. How many national parks are there in the world?

4. What is the main difference between Dartmoor National Park and national parks in most other countries?


National Parks

The first national park in the world was Yellowstone (9.000 sq km) in the United States, established in 1872 to protect the beauty of an unspoilt natural area. There are now more than 50 American national parks covering 320.000 sq km, including Yosemite (3.000 sq km) in California, the Grand Canyon (5.000 sq km) in Arizona, Bryce Canyon (150 sq km) in Utah and the Everglades (6.000 sq km) in Florida.

There are well over 2.000 national parks in more than 100 countries. These include:

1. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania (15.000 sq km).

2. Great barrier Reef National Park, Australia (50-150 km offshore, 2.000 km long).

3. Greenland National Park (the largest park at 700.000 sq km).

4. Galapagos National Park, Ecuador (7.000 sq km).

5. Kruger National Park, South Africa (20.000 sq km).


Comprehension tasks

Clip 8. Willem talks about the purposes of national parks. Fill the gaps below. A. The ____ of the landscape: its ____ history and the ____ heritage. B. The ____ of the landscape for public ____.
Clip 9. Willem explains how the national parks in Britain are unique. Each of these sentences contains a mistake. Find the mistakes and correct them: A. English and Welsh national parks are managed in a similar way to other national parks. B. 3.000 people live in Dartmoor National Park. C. The efforts of farmers and other residents don’t help to conserve area. D. National parks in other countries have become large nature reserves.


Clip 10. We hear about some of the problems of the national park. Fill in the gaps in this summary: There are ____ between different kinds of visitors, and between the ____ and the visitors ____ they all want to use the land for different purposes. The national park authorities have to tread ____ between those interests and ____ the conservation of the area.




Fill each gap in these sentences with a suitable word or phrase used in the video sequence, chosen from the list below:

(appropriate, aspect, communities, heritage, locals, promoting, resources, tensions, tread carefully)

A. Which ____ of nature conservation do you want to discuss?

B. Historic buildings and beautiful landscapes are part of our national ____.

C. Advertising is one way of ____ a product.

D. In some ____ there are ____ between different racial groups.

E. When you’re a tourist on a short visit it’s difficult to get to know the … .

F. Oil, iron ore and coal are natural ____.

G. If someone’s feeling touchy or upset it’s wise to ____ when you speak to them. It may not be ____ to tell them to pull themselves together!


11 – 13. Conservation (In Clips 11 to 13 we hear about the problems of conserving the landscape and some solutions to these problems.)

Before you view

Work in pairs. What kind of problems do you think large numbers of visitors cause for the National Park?

Note down the problems that might be caused.


On the left are some words and phrases you’ll hear in this sequence. Match them with a word or phrase from the list of definitions on the right:

1) benches 2) tranquility 3) erosion / erode 4) honey pot site 5) phenomenon 6) reinforcing 7) banks 8) vegetation 9) trodden to pieces 10) remote 11) enhance a) a long way from roads or buildings b) calm and quiet c) destroyed by people walking on it d) gradual wearing away e) improve f) making stronger g) place that attracts visitors h) plants and trees i) seats for two or more people j) sides of a river k) something that we observe happening


Comprehension tasks

Work in pairs. What problems that face the National Park are shown in these clips of the video? Note them down. Compare your notes. What do you think might be solutions to the problems you’ve noted?

Clip 11. We hear from two visitors. Fill the gaps in this summary of what they say: A. The first visitor thinks that Dartmoor should be left ____. B. If places like Dartmoor aren’t preserved, the people of Britain will lose their ____.  
Clip 12. Willem is at Dartmoot, a “honeypot site”. He talks about the impact of visitors on Dartmoor. Note down your answers to these questions: A. How many day visitors come to Dartmoor each year? B. How far do most visitors venture beyond their cars?  
Clip 13. Willem explains how the National Park Authority copes with some of the problems. Note down the answers to these problems below: A. people jumping in and out of the rivers; B. too many people walking across the grass; C. too many cars wanting to use the car parks; D. people not knowing where the footpaths are; E. electricity cables.

Join a partner. Compare your answers. What else do you think the National Park Authority could do to reduce the impact of visitors?



Work in groups. Discuss these questions:

1. Can you name any national parks in your country? About how many are there altogether?

2. Have you visited a national park or nature reserve in your own country or elsewhere?

3. How long did you spend and what did you do there?

4. How was it different from Dartmoor?

5. Do you think national parks are important? Why? Why not?


Writing tasks

A.Plan a 150-word article about Dartmoor to appear in a tourist brochure to inform foreign visitors about the National Park and its attractions.

1. Select what you think are the most interesting and relevant points about Dartmoor National Park from these points (you won’t be able to use them all). Add further information you found out from the programme.

2. Use these points to write your article.

3. Work in pairs. Show your completed article to your partner and ask for his or her comments. Then join another pair and read each other’s articles.


B.If you prefer prepare an article about a national park in your own or another country. Use the notes here, and what you found out from the programme, as guidelines to the points you want to cover.

Dartmoor National Park

– set up in 1951

– employs about 70 permanent staff

– area 945 square kilometers: half moorland, a third farmland

– highest point 621 metres

– one of eleven National Parks in England and Wales

– the whole of Dartmoor is granite, an ancient volcanic rock. The granite has been eroded in many places to form tors, isolated rocky formations at the tops of the hills.

– largest and highest upland in southern Britain

– exposed to strong winds and high rainfall

– relatively undisturbed by intensive agriculture

– especially interesting and good for wildlife

– Dartmoor ponies seem to be wild, but all belong to individual farmers. They are rounded up to be identified and marked by their owners in autumn.

– farming and other activities (forestry, army firing ranges, china clay, quarries and water supply) continue side by side with the recreational use of the park by visitors and the conservation of the landscape and ecology

Prehistoric archaeology

– at the start of the Bronze Age (2500 BC) the climate in Britain was milder than now-Dartmoor was covered in trees

– forests cleared by farmers able to grow cereals even on the highest parts of Dartmoor

– farmers lived in groups of small round hoses-their fields were surrounded with stone walls

– in around 1000 BC the climate became colder – higher fields and settlements abandoned

– since then moorland could only be used for grazing animals

– remains of the houses and walls can be seen today as “hut circles” and “reaves”.


Tin mines

– first tin mines were open gullies dug back into hillsides where a vein of ore came to the surface

– by the 18th century surface deposits exhausted deep underground mining began

– major industry until the beginning of the 20th century

– remains of tin miners’ gullies and buildings can be seen all over Dartmoor today – often covered with grass and plants.


Finally …


Watch the whole sequence again. Enjoy watching it. Now you can understand everything much more easily than you could before – you’ll feel that you have made progress.

This relaxed viewing (with no questions to answer or tasks to worry about) is also an excellent way of assimilating vocabulary and useful expressions.


Unit 2

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