Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks, walking the Stone Rows and Stone Circles of Dartmoor
HomeWalksSites Access Resources
Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks: Statement on Wild Camping

Prehistoric Dartmoor Walks: Statement on Wild Camping

Rob Bullen cartoon: Dartmoor National Park R.I.P

Dartmoor National Park R.I.P. Reproduced with thanks to © Rob Bullen

Dartmoor is being closed to the public

This website was taken off line for 5 days between Friday 13th January 2023 through to Wednesday 18th January as a protest at the High Court decision to remove the right to wild camp on Dartmoor.

Hedge fund managers buy up land and then campaign to keep the public out. We now have no access over large swathes of Dartmoor.

The High Court abolished the right of the public to wild camp on Dartmoor. Specifically on the 619-hectare (4,000-acre) Blachford estate on southern Dartmoor.

We need a campaign of civil disobedience to return Dartmoor to the public.

The listings on this website of archaeological features depends on work done by people like Joe Turner who would wild camp to do field work in the 1970s and 1980s. It is extraordinary that the High Court can state that wild camping is not a recreation with an established history on Dartmoor.

The appalling result of this decision is to put the Ten Tors and DoE events at risk potentially depriving over 2000 young people of a potentially life changing experience. If this ruling is not overturned it will remove the right of tens of thousands of visitors to properly access Dartmoor. We need open spaces for our physical and mental health and it is a scandal that rich people can buy up large chunks of a National Park and then set out to exclude the public.

What we need is a right to roam on the Scottish model combined with a right to sleep under the stars in places such s the national Parks

This website urges people to continue to wildcamp and leave no trace and to continue to visit both Staldon Moor and Harford Moor despite the attempts by the landowners to exclude the public.

It is also a scandal that the landowners have closed New Waste (Darwall 2015) and Harford Gate (Howells 2021) car parks*. These actions alone mean that only walkers prepared to walk for 8 hours can now access places like Staldon Moor.

The Dartmoor National Park is effectively inaccessible to the public when it comes to Southern Dartmoor.

We cannot allow this scandalous lack of access to continue.

Since Friday a number of authors have written exceedingly good pieces dealing with the ins and outs of this issue. Rather than penning another long piece we will list some of the excellent articles here.

Finally, we support the Dartmoor Wild Camping Action Group that was set up to campaign on this issue. Please check out their Facebook group and do what you can to help the campaign. Write to your MP, take to the streets, engage in civil disobedience and demand a right to roam!

* EDIT ADDED 03/02/2023 To be clear, the New Waste car park is owned by the Darwalls and Harford Moor gate is owned by their neighbour the Howells who own Harford Moor.

Right to Roam Goes to War! Protest Ivybridge and Cornwood Saturday 21st January

Raise Old Crockern to Defend Dartmoor!

Useful Links

The Hated Landlord of Dartmoor - Legendary Dartmoor

Wild Camping Outlawed on Dartmoor - John Bainbridge

Guardian: Right to wild camp in England lost in Dartmoor court case

Tony Whitehead: Histpory of the Dartmoor Act Part 1

Tony Whitehead: The Dartmoor Commons Part 2

Page last updated 03/02/2023