Dartmoor National Park calls for donations to appeal wild camp ban

Posted by Peter Burnside on 09/02/2023
Donations needed to appeal wild camping ban on Dartmoor National Park. Photo: Shutterstock

The BMC supports Dartmoor National Park Authority in its appeal against a ban on wild camping and is encouraging people to donate to a crowd funding campaign to offset the legal costs.

Dartmoor National Park announced it will seek leave to appeal the High Court judgment requiring wild campers to first get permission from the landowner. The Dartmoor Preservation Association has setup an official fundraising platform on JustGiving where people can donate to towards the legal costs of an appeal.

Why does the Dartmoor wild camp ban matter?

The crux of the matter is that, if the ruling from the High Court proceeds as is, a precedence will then be set for a permission-based system on the moor. This means that all visitors and wild campers will have to refer to maps to pre-plan a camp, apply for permission, and rely on the whim of landowners, instead of having the certainty and freedom to explore Dartmoor in the way they may have wished.

Once a precedence for a permission-based system has been set, it’s then easily expanded to other activities, which would threaten the freedom for climbers to access crags, swimmers in river pools, kayakers getting to river put-ins, and other recreational activities having to apply for permission from landowners instead of freely being able to turn up and engage with the outdoors when they choose.

Dr Cath Flitcroft, Acting Head of Access, Environment, and Conservation, for the BMC, said; “We want to see a rights-based, not a permission-based, system on Dartmoor.

“We would encourage all our members and all outdoor lovers to help Dartmoor National Park Authority raise the funds to appeal the High Court ruling. All donations can be made through the Dartmoor Preservation Association.”

DONATE: to the Save Dartmoor Backpack Camping Fundraiser

How is the Dartmoor Preservation Association helping?

It is acting as the focus for donations which it will then transfer to the national park to offset the legal costs of an appeal. (The original case will have cost the National Park around £100,000 to give you an idea of scale).

How will the donations be used?

The Dartmoor Preservation Association will use them to fund the National Park Authority's appeal against the backpack camping ban.

These funds will only be for future appeal costs not for costs of the original judgement in this case in Jan 23.

Until the costs of the appeal are known we will hold these donations ringfenced. This could be until late 2023.

Further FAQs can be found on the Dartmoor Preservation Association website or on the JustGiving website where you can also make donations.


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32
10/02/2023
I’m currently checking with our committee to see if we can donate some of the club funds.
16/06/2023
Camping has been a long-standing tradition in Dartmoor and has allowed visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural surroundings. It is vital that we work together to protect the park's unique landscape while still allowing for responsible and sustainable recreational activities. Donations to the appeal can help to ensure that Dartmoor remains a special place for generations to come.
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13/07/2023
Donations should be used to support educational programs and infrastructure improvements rather than enforcing a blanket ban. Let's find a balanced approach to ensure the sustainability of Dartmoor while still allowing people to enjoy its natural beauty.

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