OneHutFull is a multi-sensory journey through the past, present and future, immersing visitors in the world of hill farming on Dartmoor.
OneHutFull is much more than just a heritage project. This is not about romanticising the past; it’s about inspiring innovators and consumers to ensure that hill farming remains part of our future.
The moors and heaths of Dartmoor have been used by farmers for at least 3,000 years. And for much of that time, Whiteface Dartmoor sheep have grazed the lands.
One of the oldest breeds of sheep in Britain, the Whiteface Dartmoor has evolved to withstand the winds and rain of the moors, while providing excellent meat and high quality wool.
And it really is the wool that these sheep were bred for. By the 11th century, wool was Devon’s primary export and as the trade blossomed across England, so too did the region. Exeter grew to be England’s second largest port and Exeter Cathedral itself was built on the wealth of the wool trade.
Cheap, man-made fibres
Now DOMINATE the market
Manufacturing has changed and so too have consumer habits
Today wool is often shipped to China to be washed then onto India to be turned into garments before being finally exported back to Britain.
Many Western people have lost their connection to the land and with it an appreciation for how clothes and food are created. The demand for cheaper products has fuelled a distorted view of their value.
OneHutFull was commissioned by the Whiteface Dartmoor Sheep Breeders Association.
The original idea was to capture a way of life that is rapidly disappearing, but the project has become much more than that
Today, the aim is not to make people nostalgic for what once was, but to inspire them by giving a taste of what could be.
Paula Wolton WDSBA, explains:
If we don’t want to see hill farming on Dartmoor lost forever, we need to inspire a new generation of farmers, artisans, producers and consumers. To do that, we need to celebrate the innovators of today and demonstrate what could be achieved in the future. And we have to reach new audiences.
Kitted out with cutting-edge technology, the hut takes visitors on
A MULTI-Sensory journey through the history of hill farming to the present day, and beyond
A new wave of entrepreneurs is emerging who are doing their bit to change how people see and use sheep products.
From celebrity chefs
using less popular cuts of meat
To fashion designerS
Promoting locally sourced, natural materials…
Run by husband and wife team, Hannah and Justin Floyd, ‘Solidwool’ is crafted from wool and bio-resin and can be used in much the same way as plastic. Justin’s Hembury chair is already gaining critical acclaim and, thanks to a collaboration with a glasses designer, Solidwool may soon be gracing the pages of fashion magazines.
Others are putting traditional materials to new use. Bellacouche, for example, has created an award-winning Leafcocoon – a biodegradable soft coffin made from pure wool felt. Bellacouche is the brain child of Devon based Yuli Sømme whose products are deeply influenced by the traditions of her Norwegian heritage.
It’s not just innovators leading the way, consumers are too
They see the value of traditional ways of farming. They too are giving hope back to farmers. Whether they choose to eat higher welfare meat, buy British grown and produced products or simply raise awareness.
The hut is full of voices and stories, a snapshot of past and present hill farming, and of the personalities and characters that make up Dartmoor’s farming community.
Looking forward, this oral history highlights ways in which the past can be used to shape the future, to inspire new ways to keep hill farming viable and valued, all the while retaining continuity.
We are not going to demand that you sign a petition, make a pledge or put a sticker in your car window. All we ask is that you consider the possibilities. Here are a few ideas to get you started: