Dartmoor wild camping could soon be ended as landowners contest law

Dartmoor wild camping

Wild camping in Dartmoor, currently the only place in England and Wales where it is legal to wild camp under canvas in designated areas without obtaining permission, could soon come to an end.

Landowners are reported to be contesting the bylaws under the Dartmoor Commons Act which enshrine the right to roam and camp across the 4,000-acre site.

Under these laws, people have been able to camp in the area for the past 100 years.

However, the landowners claim that campers have been leaving the site worse off, littering, lighting fires, poaching fish and causing noise pollution.

Darwall, one of the landowners, says he isn’t seeking to end camping for good but rather change the law so that campers are required to get the permission of landowners before embarking on their adventures.

Right-to-roam activists, however, say this will make getting access to nature harder, as many won’t know how to obtain permission, could be turned down or asked to offer a profit to landowners.

Dartmoor national park is opposing their claims in the high court.

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