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NEWS: Dartmoor Camping Judgement is "Significant Retrograde Step"

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In reply to PaulW:

Very sad.

Hedge fund manager. Why am I not surprised?

2
 AWP84 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

Gutted for the future generations.

1
 Lankyman 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

I'm sure a lot of people will just carry on as in the past. I know I would if I lived down there. Scotland apart, most of my UK hill camping has not had any legal basis but I've not been hassled.

 felt 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

I watched the last episode of A Very English Scandal last night. Somehow the court's verdict here seems as predictable as the one in the Thorpe affair. 

Crowdfunded appeal?

1
 felt 13 Jan 2023
In reply to Lankyman:

True. Only place I've ever been hounded out of was in Iceland beside a remote river, which unbeknownst to me was an expensive fishing beat, so fair enough.

2
 mondite 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

Got to protect the right to introduce large numbers of birds and then shoot them.

1
In reply to mondite:

> Got to protect the right to introduce large numbers of birds and then shoot them.

I noticed the bit about the pheasant shooting too, but then later on in the article we have this gem - ".....there was a list of proscribed activities, such as killing animals"

I guess he can ignore that bit 

 Sean Kelly 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

I was once moved off the Saddleworth Moors near Wimbury. Farmer had a shotgun so I didn't hang around to argue. He was quite aggressive.

1
In reply to captain paranoia:

Yup, shocker. Why am I not also surprised that the hedge fund manager won.

3
 crayefish 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

Very disappointing.  I hope that people will continue to camp there, regardless of this ruling.

1
 Petrogli 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

My first post here but wanted to add that I'm gutted. I had been planning to do my first wild camp this year and Dartmoor was my chosen location.

The ruling probably won't stop me. I've been going to Dartmoor for years and have never set foot on "his" land and likely never will, though I will watch out for how militantly the ruling is enforced elsewhere before I finally decide.

 Tony the Blade 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

The time feels right for another Mass Trespass.

1
In reply to PaulW:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-64238116

Just been reading the BBC article on it. Shame

In reply to Tony the Blade:

As someone who's never protested anything. I'd absolutely do this.

 Wainers44 13 Jan 2023
In reply to Lankyman:

> I'm sure a lot of people will just carry on as in the past. I know I would if I lived down there. Scotland apart, most of my UK hill camping has not had any legal basis but I've not been hassled.

But a lot of people can't, including DofE Groups and Ten Tors teams, so this utterly selfish individual who clearly doesn't give a flying t*ss for anyone else has got his way. 

We wonder why that idiot Andrew whatever he's called has such a following amongst the young? Well have a look how this country behaves time and again.  Power and more importantly wealth Trumps (sic) all. Why bother being fair, balanced, reasonable,  altruistic,  none of those qualities get you anywhere. 

 Phil79 13 Jan 2023
In reply to Wainers44:

> But a lot of people can't, including DofE Groups and Ten Tors teams, so this utterly selfish individual who clearly doesn't give a flying t*ss for anyone else has got his way. 

Absolutely agree. I can imagine Ten Tors organisers will be having to make some difficult decisions going forward.

Complete disgrace that this has come to pass. 

 ThunderCat 13 Jan 2023
In reply to Tony the Blade:

> The time feels right for another Mass Trespass.

Haha, I was scrolling down the comments thinking I would add this...and see that you beat me to it.

 joeramsay 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

odious scumbag. may his balls fall off

1
In reply to Phil79:

> Absolutely agree. I can imagine Ten Tors organisers will be having to make some difficult decisions going forward.

I wonder how many of the relevant landowners will say they are of course happy to give Ten Tors permission to continue using their land... for a suitable fee.

In reply to PaulW:

So, I'm probably being a bit dense here but the BBC article states:

 "The area of land on Dartmoor covered by the Dartmoor Commons Act 1985 is around 86,000 acres (348 sq km). Wild camping was previously permitted in approximately 71,000 acres (287 sq km).

Now out-of-bounds to those wishing to stay out overnight unless the Darwalls give their permission is a remote area of land called Stall Moor, covering 2,800 acres (11 sq km)."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-64238116

But the DNPA 

'The High Court declared on 13 January 2023 that that Section 10(1) of the Dartmoor Commons Act 1985 does not confer on the public any right to pitch tents or otherwise make camp overnight on the Dartmoor Commons.

Therefore, Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) encourages anyone who is planning to wild camp to seek the consent of the landowner'.

https://www.dartmoor.gov.uk/enjoy-dartmoor/outdoor-activities/camping

Don't get me wrong, hedge fund mangers are bast!@#s of the highest order and this one is worse than normal, but does this ruling apply to all the Dartmoor Commons or just Stall Moor and it's lazy reporting by the BBC?

As @petrogli said it will be interesting to see how the MOD enforces this.

In reply to PaulW:

We will be discussing this and our response to it at the BMC SW area meeting on 24th January. It's a zoom meeting, all welcome (but you can't vote on motions unless you're a BMC SW area member).

https://community.thebmc.co.uk/Event.aspx?id=4447

See you there!

1
In reply to OneBeardedWalker:

If it has been decided that the Dartmoor Commons Act does not allow for wild camping then the ruling surely must apply to all land covered by the act, regardless of the fact that only one landowner brought the case to court. 

How other landowners choose to respond to this ruling is another matter though, and it might be that most/all the others don't care and don't make any attempt to enforce it. 

Post edited at 14:21
In reply to Stuart Williams:

Thanks Stuart. That makes sense. Sounds like it is a case of wait and see then. 

 artif 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

I can see a lot of late night "walking" going to be happening there, obviously stopping for a brew occasionally 

 hang_about 13 Jan 2023

Does 'does not have the right to' means 'is not allowed to'? A right means I can do something against an objection - is not allowed to means I cant even do something in the first place. 

One approach might be be for interested parties to send a request (maybe to his lawyer or solicitor) asking for permission to camp. Maybe someone with legal knowledge could come up with a letter (if I do not hear a response within x days then I assume you have no objection). I don't know how many people would be interested - a few dozen, hundreds or thousands? At least the solicitor would be happy if they charged a fee per response to the owner.

 Tony the Blade 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

Walls look like order; but more often than not a wall stands at the precise fulcrum of an imbalance in society. Most walls are only necessary as a means of defending the resources of those that have them from those that lack them. In this way, though they present themselves as mechanisms of security, they are in fact tools of oppression.
Nick Hayes, The Book of Trespass: Crossing the Lines that Divide Us

In reply to artif:

And over night picnics..... Stated picnic permitted. 

Also refers to pitching of tents - so bivi bags OK then

Just saying

1
 lee birtwistle 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

Saw this poem which I thought was apt.

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose

 Wainers44 13 Jan 2023
In reply to hang_about:

> Does 'does not have the right to' means 'is not allowed to'? A right means I can do something against an objection - is not allowed to means I cant even do something in the first place. 

> One approach might be be for interested parties to send a request (maybe to his lawyer or solicitor) asking for permission to camp. Maybe someone with legal knowledge could come up with a letter (if I do not hear a response within x days then I assume you have no objection). I don't know how many people would be interested - a few dozen, hundreds or thousands? At least the solicitor would be happy if they charged a fee per response to the owner.

Actually I like this idea. Wouldn't need a Solicitor to draft it. Good to reference back to previous times you've camped there, when he hasn't raised an objection, demonstrating that you are safe to assume his permission unless he writes back to you to the contrary. 

I suggest posting the letters without stamps so he will have to pay to get them at first, then a few recorded delivery just in case.

 bouldery bits 13 Jan 2023
In reply to EdS:

Let's do a great big UKC overnight picnic. 

OP PaulW 13 Jan 2023
In reply to Tony the Blade:

Love The Book Of Trespass. A reminder to reread it soon.

And plan a trip to Dartmoor for the mass event if it happens.

In reply to lee birtwistle:

Great poem, who wrote it?

 deepsoup 13 Jan 2023
In reply to Mark Kemball:

Author unknown - it goes back at least as far as the 1700s.  Seems strangely relevant though still doesn't it?

Here's a longer version with a few more, equally apt, verses:

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from off the goose

The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine

The poor and wretched don't escape
If they conspire the law to break
This must be so but they endure
Those who conspire to make the law

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
And geese will still a common lack
Till they go and steal it back

Post edited at 17:39
In reply to deepsoup:

Thanks!

In reply to Wide_Mouth_Frog:

> I guess he can ignore that bit 

Hopefully we’ll get the Streisand effect.

 smollett 13 Jan 2023

Unfortunate outcome but will not affect my habits or behaviour in the slightest. I am very discreet when camping anyway and never had any issues because of this. I have also seen the damage and disruption caused on occasion by a minority who ruin it for everyone else

Would be interested to know what his motivation behind this is and if he had experienced damage or anti social behaviour leading to this court action.

 Wainers44 13 Jan 2023
In reply to smollett:

> Unfortunate outcome but will not affect my habits or behaviour in the slightest. I am very discreet when camping anyway and never had any issues because of this. I have also seen the damage and disruption caused on occasion by a minority who ruin it for everyone else

> Would be interested to know what his motivation behind this is and if he had experienced damage or anti social behaviour leading to this court action.

Motivation? Here you, get off my land. A classic Devonian phrase.

His pheasants don't want their 40 winks disturbing before they get their brains blasted out by the rich paying customers.

 Fat Bumbly2 13 Jan 2023
In reply to smollett:

The anti social behaviour leading to this court action was being a hedge fund manager and financing treachery in the form of UKIP

 petecallaghan 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: "The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying 'This is mine', and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody."

"property is theft" was originally an expression of the rejection of the Roman concept that an owner of land can do with it as they please.

The foundations of our legal system include this Roman concept of owner as ruler of her or his land, while recent (last 70yrs) access legislation tinkers around the edges, so it's not surprising that we are largely excluded from the majority of land in the UK. A real change would need to go deep.

The judge reflected this Roman concept of ownership in his judgement: "The judge, Sir Julian Flaux, Chancellor of the High Court, [...] said the act did not "confer on the public any right to pitch tents or otherwise make camp overnight on Dartmoor Commons. Any such camping requires the consent of the landowner."
If there were such a right, he said it would mean "the landowner would have suffered *a loss of control or a usurpation of his rights over his own land* ."

Post edited at 18:19
 petecallaghan 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

When we roam without permission on land legally owned by someone else, we are intuitively rejecting the fundemental concept underpinning our legal framework that the owner has exclusive right to determine access.

Vive la revolution!

Post edited at 18:22
In reply to deepsoup:

> Author unknown - it goes back at least as far as the 1700s

No doubt it dates back to the Enclosure Acts. Oh, in fact, the Wiki entry on that quotes the poem...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclosure_Acts

 deepsoup 13 Jan 2023
In reply to captain paranoia:

Of course! Thanks.

 Wainers44 13 Jan 2023
In reply to Fat Bumbly2:

> The anti social behaviour leading to this court action was being a hedge fund manager and financing treachery in the form of UKIP

...and the best of it? Have a look at the guys estate website.  It proudly shows off the EU logo stating the estate was the recipient of EU (ERDF) money. Shallow,  self centred , selfish, arrogant utter hypocrite is probably as far as I go before using language which gets me banned....

 petecallaghan 13 Jan 2023
In reply to captain paranoia:

> No doubt it dates back to the Enclosure Acts. Oh, in fact, the Wiki entry on that quotes the poem...

"Between 1604 and 1914, over 5,200 individual enclosure acts were passed, affecting 28,000 km2"

Ah I know a chap whose keen on taking back control and repealing legislation. Now where has that Jacob Rees Mogg got to...

In reply to petecallaghan:

> Now where has that Jacob Rees Mogg got to...

He's probably preparing an Enclosure Act of his own. These entitled bastards are just the sort who would have stolen common land by enclosure.

 Forester3 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW: This outcome has echoes of the closure of Vixen Tor to members of the public nearly twenty years ago…

 pasbury 13 Jan 2023
In reply to Wainers44:

Alexander Darwall is a right specimen by the sound of him; from Wikipedia

"Darwall has donated £89,999 to the right-wing UK Independence Party, the Anti-EU Vote Leave campaign, and the Conservatives between 2014 and 2019."

"Darwall's Blachford Estate has received financial support from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development."

"Darwall owns several large tracts of land, known as 'estates', across the UK. One of these is the 16,000 acre Sutherland Estate in Scotland, which he bought in November 2016 for about £5m.[5] He and his wife entered the national news in 2018 after they started charging gold panners £10/day, limiting their access area, and limiting their time to two weeks per year, as people were selling the gold, which is not something they believe should be permitted."

To paraphrase the excellent poem above;

"Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect."

 Steve Woollard 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

In answer to the question who owns Dartmoor -

https://whoownsengland.org/2021/03/22/who-owns-dartmoor/

 nastyned 13 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

The Right to Roam campaign are calling for people to join them in Dartmoor on 21st Jan:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/raise-old-crockern-to-defend-dartmoor-tickets-514716339427

 grectangle 13 Jan 2023
In reply to pasbury:

Honestly what a scumbag POS...

Campaigns to leave EU, which brings detrimental economic effects to so many (and limits the horizons of a generation), meanwhile gladly taking money from the EU to maintain and improve his holdings.  Now wants to keep people from lying on the ground for a night.  FFS, what a world...and such people in it.

 petecallaghan 14 Jan 2023
In reply to nastyned:

> The Right to Roam campaign are calling for people to join them in Dartmoor on 21st Jan:

I've registered. Maybe ppl should go dressed as geese! 😂

 ian bryant 14 Jan 2023
In reply to Tony the Blade:

> Walls look like order; but more often than not a wall stands at the precise fulcrum of an imbalance in society. Most walls are only necessary as a means of defending the resources of those that have them from those that lack them. In this way, though they present themselves as mechanisms of security, they are in fact tools of oppression.

> Nick Hayes, The Book of Trespass: Crossing the Lines that Divide Us

I haven't read that book but I am keen to do so. 

On the matter of walls in the countryside though, more often than not they are to keep animals from straying out of the owners land. I'm not denying they create barriers for humans to explore but their importance for animal segregation should be respected (I speak as someone who lives next to land on which sheep are kept and is fed up of having all his trees eaten by them - trees which have been planted in an effort to absorb all the carbon excreted by us all... but I digress....).

Post edited at 09:35
 Fat Bumbly2 14 Jan 2023
In reply to petecallaghan:

For Heaven's sake, don't go dressed as a pheasant.   Still January.

 nufkin 14 Jan 2023
In reply to Wainers44:

> that idiot Andrew whatever he's called

Windsor?

 toad 14 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

Remember. It's OK to break the law in a limited and specific way

 mondite 14 Jan 2023
In reply to toad:

> Remember. It's OK to break the law in a limited and specific way

“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal loaves of bread”

 petecallaghan 14 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

Here is the full judgement

https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/darwall-and-darwall-v-dartmoor-national-park-authority/

Interestingly, the judgement states that hikers who wild camp can do so without asking permission provided they are preprared to move on if asked. It's not clear if this applies to all of Dartmoor or just the areas allowed by the DNPA byelaws.

"81. So far as the contention that the right to wild camp without the consent of the landowner
is an implied right ancillary to the right of access is concerned, I agree with Mr Morshead
KC that this contention fails the test of necessary implication set out at [19] above. Any
walker who wants to wild camp can always seek the permission of the landowner or, if
in a remote place, take their chances on pitching a tent without the landowner knowing,
whilst being prepared to move on if asked to do so. Alternatively, any walker can use one
of the licensed campsites.... "

This clause is makes no reference to DNPA byelaws. Consequently, so as far as I can tell, it can reasonably apply anywhere subject to the 1985 Dartmoor Commons act, irrespective of the DNPA map that constrains wild camping.

So camp (in a remote place) where ya like!

Post edited at 18:15
 Sean Kelly 15 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

Why is it OK for Scotland to have open access but in England this is not so. A more enlightened government?

5
OP PaulW 15 Jan 2023
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Possibly a more enlightened government. though it does help having a lot more space and a lot less people.

1
 Steve Woollard 15 Jan 2023
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> Why is it OK for Scotland to have open access but in England this is not so. A more enlightened government?

Haha, goes back to the Norman, they didn't conquer Scotland 🤣

 Wainers44 15 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

Did a cheeky 20 odd miler up there yesterday.  Ran from Shipley to Princetown and back. Lots of time to contemplate the meaning of all this. 

Being involved with Ten Tors it's a wait and see. DNPA on the TV on Friday telling us that they have a meet with the Duchy tomorrow.  Fingers crossed. 

However I tried to stay positive though,  the place just fell a bit different somehow.  Looking south across the raging torrent of the Erme, I guess the lovely individuals behind this were tucked up in their estate feeling smug. When their last breath is looming, I wonder if even then they will regret all this being the one thing their names will be remembered for? Probably not.

Being down here we are so far away from the real mountains that Dartmoor gives (gave) youngsters at least an opportunity to see beyond sandy beaches! 

OK, i hear you say, only camping has changed,  but how often was that opportunity a last minute night in a tiny tent on the moor? A DofE expedition that will now happen in East Devon and involve a campsite instead? Or the chance to learn about the wild beauty of the place while navigating those 10 Tors being reduced or restricted now?

 Fat Bumbly2 15 Jan 2023
In reply to Steve Woollard:

The Normans were very active here - hence the feudal landowning system lasting until the 21st century.  Wallace and Bruce were Normans - or Norman origin at least.

 aln 16 Jan 2023
In reply to Fat Bumbly2:

> Wallace and Bruce were Normans - or Norman origin at least.

How far back are you going? I'm a Wallace, I have an interest but never traced my past etc. William Wallace was from Renfrewshire, as were my family. From what I've read the name Wallace came from Walsh, then before that Welsh.

 artif 16 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

Your legal right is to “pass and repass along the way”. You may stop to rest or admire the view, or to consume refreshments, providing you stay on the path and do not cause an obstruction. You can also take with you a “natural accompaniment” which includes a pram, or pushchair.

Quote from the ramblers website, not sure how you quantify a "rest" but I'm sure I could ensure I was only resting, if challenged. 

1
 Phil79 16 Jan 2023
In reply to Stuart Williams:

> How other landowners choose to respond to this ruling is another matter though, and it might be that most/all the others don't care and don't make any attempt to enforce it. 

There's at least one other large landowner who I understand voiced support for the case, so I assume they wont allow camping.

The main one will be the Duchy of Cornwall, as they own about 60-70% of the open moor I think.

 BuzyG 16 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

So if you are tucked up nice and warm in a bivi bag star gazing and happen to fall asleep, is that wild camping?

 Howard J 17 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

I have only skim-read the full judgement, but it seems clear that there was no lawful right to camp prior to the 1985 Act, and that this was generally understood and recognised at the time. The question then was whether this right was conferred by the Act by falling within the scope of "outdoor recreation" permitted under section 10(1).

The judge decided it was not.  Part of the reason for this appears to be that during the passing of the Act the question of allowing camping does not seem to have been raised, and such discussion as there was only concerned possible regulation to prevent damage at popular locations. He therefore concluded that Parliament had not intended camping to be permitted when it allowed outdoor recreation.

However part of his reason was that he agreed with the suggestion that wild camping is not an activity in its own right, but simply facilitates the pursuit of other permitted recreation. The example given was that if someone wild camps during the course of a long hike it is the hike which is the outdoor recreation, and the camp merely facilitates this. The camp is a purely practical matter which in the judge's view could be equally well satisfied by using one of the authorised campsites.

This is not how wild campers view it. The experience of wild camping is of course very different from a "proper" campsite, which is probably why DoE and other expeditions include it.  Many people undertake fairly short hikes in order to wild camp, where the camp itself is the main purpose.  I wonder whether any evidence was taken on this particular aspect, or whether it was simply an assumption on the part of the judge? 

This now puts Dartmoor in the same position as the rest of England and Wales, where the ability to wild camp depends on how strongly the landowner feels about preventing it. The worry must be that this landowner, having already spent a large sum on this court case, will now be rigorous in taking action to prevent wild camping.  It has been reported that the Bamford Estate in the Peak District (which only reluctantly allows the minimum access permitted by CRoW) is using thermal imaging to detect and evict campers.

The other worry is that this case might be argued as a precedent in any future legal cases which concern the definition of outdoor recreation or the status of camping.

I hope the NP's lawyers are considering an appeal.

In reply to CantClimbTom:

> Just been reading the BBC article on it. Shame

From the Beeb article - "The Darwalls are the sixth-largest landowners of Dartmoor. The largest landowner is the Duchy of Cornwall, which owns close to 70,000 acres." Our Wills has a beautiful PR opportunity here to say that wild camping is still welcome on the Duchy of Cornwall bits of Dartmoor.  They wouldn't lose a thing as it is only preserving the status quo, would show a clear lead to other land owners and would also be a good news story for them against the current spin cycle of Harry.  What's not to like? 

 Jenny C 17 Jan 2023
In reply to Bobling:

Totally agree, although maybe 'wild camping is welcome, but should be at least 1km from roads/carparks/occupied buildings' thus clearly separating backpackers from car campers which I suspect are the primary cause of legitimate littering and sanitation concerns.

 Wainers44 17 Jan 2023
In reply to Jenny C:

Sorry for sounding like I am moaning,  but this sort of comment plays straight into the press's lazy narrative that this is all to do with car boot campers. The spots which the cameras rush to so they can film scorched grass and litter are already no camp zones anyway. Responsible camping happens all the time, and is rarely seen, leave alone filmed.

The guy wants everyone off his land so his customers blasting of pheasants isn't interrupted. He laughingly used the c word (conservation) in his application to the Court. On many shooting estates,  not all but many, that word means simply the nurturing of game for the shoot.

As always, a law or rule change will most affect those who follow the rules.  The idiots, will behave as badly as ever, regardless of the change. 

3
 kinley2 17 Jan 2023
In reply to Howard J:

>........

> However part of his reason was that he agreed with the suggestion that wild camping is not an activity in its own right, but simply facilitates the pursuit of other permitted recreation. The example given was that if someone wild camps during the course of a long hike it is the hike which is the outdoor recreation, and the camp merely facilitates this. The camp is a purely practical matter which in the judge's view could be equally well satisfied by using one of the authorised campsites.

> This is not how wild campers view it. The experience of wild camping is of course very different from a "proper" campsite, which is probably why DoE and other expeditions include it.  Many people undertake fairly short hikes in order to wild camp, where the camp itself is the main purpose.  I wonder whether any evidence was taken on this particular aspect, or whether it was simply an assumption on the part of the judge? 

>........

It may well be that an appeal is possible along these lines. There are certainly those for whom wild camping is simply an adjunct to other activities (a runner put it to me that the "purpose" of camping was just to get further afield than was feasible without).

For many, however it is a distinct activity, the core purpose of being out. The judge seems, in what I read, to have conflated "Outdoor Recreation" with "outdoor physical activity". Recreation usually has a broader scope including non-physical activities for mental and emotional well-being.

Hoping there is an appeal, whatever the grounds.

 Phil79 18 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

Some good news in all this, Harford Moor owner has come out in favour of wild camping continuing on their patch (with suitable restrictions around a SSSI that was previously out of bounds anyway):

https://harfordmoor.org/about/camping/

This chap is neighbouring landowner to Darwall. 

Hopefully the other big landowners will follow suit.

Edit - for anyone interested in where this is on Dartmoor (and who owns what), this appears to be best available information in public domain: https://whoownsengland.org/2021/03/22/who-owns-dartmoor/

Post edited at 10:56
 Harry Jarvis 18 Jan 2023
In reply to Phil79:

> Some good news in all this, Harford Moor owner has come out in favour of wild camping continuing on their patch (with suitable restrictions around a SSSI that was previously out of bounds anyway):

> This chap is neighbouring landowner to Darwall. 

> Hopefully the other big landowners will follow suit.

> Edit - for anyone interested in where this is on Dartmoor (and who owns what), this appears to be best available information in public domain: https://whoownsengland.org/2021/03/22/who-owns-dartmoor/

That is good. From your map, it is clear that the Duchy of Cornwall is the main landowner on Dartmoor. In the spirit of the DoE Awards, it would be good for the Duke of Cornwall to make an equivocal statement in favour of wild camping on Duchy land. 

 Phil79 18 Jan 2023
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

If they don't agree, then Ten Tors and DoE would be pretty unviable I think? I can't imagne they'd want that on their record. Although I guess there might be a specific exclusions for organised events like that anyway (and probably lots of legal/liability/insurance issues I'm not aware of).

You would think National Trust and SWW would also consent to continuing the status quo, given the PR optics of not doing so.

 mondite 18 Jan 2023
In reply to Phil79:

> You would think National Trust and SWW would also consent to continuing the status quo, given the PR optics of not doing so.

A possible issue for the NT (plus duchy of Cornwall) is that they would then face the question. If you allow it here why not on your other land?

Previously it had the convenient optout of it being the law but now it would just be "well its traditional there" which doesnt hold up so well.

 Zippy168 18 Jan 2023
In reply to Lankyman:

Recently emailed DNP for clarification on the still advertised purple zone and this was the reply:

Hello Mark

Thank you for your email.  DNPA only own 1.4% of the land and there are just over 40 owners of the Commons on Dartmoor.   The map on our website with the ‘purple areas’ shows the Commons where camping in the past has been permitted without having to have the permission of the landowners.  The ruling that was delivered on the 13th January was to be carried out with immediate effect however, DNPA are working with the Landowners association to try and resolve how permission will be granted and the implications for organised groups such as Ten Tors.

So I shall be taking a low profile bivvy and cam net next trip!

In reply to mondite:

> A possible issue for the NT (plus duchy of Cornwall) is that they would then face the question. If you allow it here why not on your other land?

> Previously it had the convenient optout of it being the law but now it would just be "well its traditional there" which doesnt hold up so well.

To be fair, the NT do give tacit approval for wild camping on the Lakeland Fells that they own, and they do mention the 'long tradition'.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/lake-district/wild-camping-in-the-lake-district

 mike123 19 Jan 2023
In reply to joeramsay:

> odious scumbag. may his balls fall off

that would , of course , require him to have some . 

 Phil79 19 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

Well this is some more welcome news! Seems DNP and landowners (not sure which ones) have reached an agreement to let wild camping continue:

https://us12.campaign-archive.com/?u=21b2c661e1dffa9d75479d410&id=7ef3a3e074

"Agreement has been reached that will enable people to continue wild camping in parts of Dartmoor National Park.

Landowners and the National Park Authority have worked together to agree a way forward following the High Court judgment published on Friday.

The Dartmoor Commons Owners’ Association  and the National Park Authority met yesterday (18 January 2023) to discuss how wild camping on the Dartmoor Commons might be facilitated going forward.

Agreement was reached in principle on the following:

•    Landowners will grant permission to the Authority to allow the public to wild camp through a permissive agreement.
•    This new system will provide clear guidance on what constitutes wild camping based on the principle of ‘leave no trace’.
•    Areas where the public can wild camp without seeking individual permission from landowners will be communicated via an interactive map on Dartmoor National Park Authority’s website in the coming days.

Anyone planning to wild camp now or in the future must refer to the interactive map and follow all ‘leave no trace’ principles. 

Whilst the agreement is completed, wild camping (including Ten Tors and The Duke of Edinburgh Award) is permitted with immediate effect. 

John Howell, Chair of Dartmoor Commons Owners’ Association, said: “We recognise the importance of people being able to enjoy the natural beauty of Dartmoor, including through wild camping, and the benefits that this can bring."

Dr Kevin Bishop, Chief Executive of Dartmoor National Park Authority, said:  “We have all worked quickly and collectively to ensure clarity is provided. Our thanks go to those involved in the discussions who have engaged in this process so positively and proactively. We’re committed to working together to continue all our good work that helps keep Dartmoor special for everyone.”

All present at the meeting were clear that there is no place for illegal fly camping on Dartmoor. ‘Fly camping’, which often involves large groups with barbecues or open fires, should not be confused with true wild camping and will continue to be prohibited."

Post edited at 11:17
 bouldery bits 19 Jan 2023
In reply to Phil79:

Excellent!

Thank you for sharing.

 Chris H 19 Jan 2023
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

Given that the DofE was started by his Dad it would seem unlikely that he would want to stop it?

 Phil79 19 Jan 2023
In reply to Phil79:

Although having considered it for a bit, I think this might be a bit of a pyrrhic victory....yes the right to camp has been restored, although we don't know the extent of that compared to the previous 'camping map' held by DNP. 

And presumably the landowners still have the right to say 'no camping' and change their stance on this if they so wish in the future....

I assume this will also reduce any appetite within DNPA to challenge the legal ruling in court (and therefore get camping enshrined as a right for which landowner permission is not required).  

Think I need a bit of time to get my head round it.

  

In reply to Phil79:

I think this is the best we can hope for immediately, longer term, an appeal against the judgement and in the long term a change in the access laws. 

 fred99 19 Jan 2023
In reply to Chris H:

> Given that the DofE was started by his Dad it would seem unlikely that he would want to stop it?

Don't you mean Grandad ?

 Chris H 19 Jan 2023
In reply to fred99:

Ah so William is the DOC ... even more reason I would have thought to avoid a massive own goal as he is into YP (not in a Prince Andrew way) ? 

 Abu777 19 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

It would be good to see the BMC and other similar bodies negotiating access with landowners across all national parks and maybe any other open space in this way, creating a map of areas where wild camping is permitted within rules of responsible practice. The idea that individual campers could 'seek permission of the landowner' before camping is pretty ridiculous; how do you even start working out who owns a particular bit of land, never mind contacting them? It's impenetrable much of the time. As a seasoned wild-camper, I've no issue setting up shop in wild spaces, arriving late and leaving early etc, but I remember starting out it was quite intimidating and the idea of someone turning up with a shotgun in the middle of the night will be more than enough to put off a lot of people from trying. Yes a 'right to roam' Scotland-esque legislation in England and Wales would be great, but in lieu of that, let's at least establish some areas where novices can feel more comfortable giving it a go.

 Tony the Blade 19 Jan 2023
In reply to Chris H:

> Given that the DofE was started by his Dad it would seem unlikely that he would want to stop it?

Don't be too sure. A couple of years ago, as Covid was losing it's grip on schools, I asked permission from the Crown Estates for 6 teams to be able to pass through one of their inclosures (Swinley Park). They asked why they needed to go through and I explained, I also added that earlier that year we had just gone ahead and walked through, not realising that it was Crown Estate land (The Three Castles Path runs through it, marked by green diamonds on the OS map). I was then informed that I had commited an offence as it was trespassing, however he wouldn't follow it up nor would he charge me. He then informed me that I would have to pay to use the path in future as I run a business. I did say to him that he worked for the Crown and that this was for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award... this fell upon deaf ears.

Thank goodness that we can now travel to different locations again.

 Doug 19 Jan 2023
In reply to Mark Kemball:

According to https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/19/dartmoor-national-park-to-pay-landowners-to-allow-wild-camping landowners will be paid to allow camping, is this a dangerous precedent ?

In reply to Doug:

It would be a very bad precedent, however I don’t think that any payment has been agreed yet. 

In reply to Doug:

Indeed. But I am hoping that this is just a stop gap measure to allow the continuation of organised events. Individuals will continue to discreetly wild camp, whatever the law.

In the longer term I hope that this ruling is reversed, as wild camping clearly IS a recreational activity, and that once a more open minded party is in power at Westminster, we have legislation to expand the right to roam and wild camp.

1
 petecallaghan 20 Jan 2023
In reply to Phil79:

> Some good news in all this, Harford Moor owner has come out in favour of wild camping continuing on their patch (with suitable restrictions around a SSSI that was previously out of bounds anyway):

The area of Harford Moor was unilaterally closed (by closing the car park) by the owner without agreement with DNPA. It was not closed formally to wild camping by DNPA (although removing it was proposed as part of the byelaw changes).

As has been the case throughout recent discussion the owners cite conservation as reasons for closing access, but these claims are genuinely contentious, and sometimes used to hide another motivation. Land-use by landowners and grazing has likely much greater impact on moorland ecology than visitors.

Post edited at 13:46
1
 Phil79 20 Jan 2023
In reply to petecallaghan:

> The area of Harford Moor was unilaterally closed (by closing the car park) by the owner. It was not closed formally to wild camping by DNPA (although removing it was proposed as part of the byelaw changes).

Thanks, I wasn't aware that (Harford Moor Gate?) car park had been closed as well. I don't tend to go to that area much.

New Waste I know has been closed since not long after Darwall acquired Stall Moor.

Agreed about the ecological angle, wasn't that the same reason cited to shut New Waste car park?

Makes that whole area very difficult to get to.

 petecallaghan 20 Jan 2023
In reply to Phil79:

> Thanks, I wasn't aware that (Harford Moor Gate?) car park had been closed as well. I don't tend to go to that area much.

> New Waste I know has been closed since not long after Darwall acquired Stall Moor.

> Agreed about the ecological angle, wasn't that the same reason cited to shut New Waste car park?

> Makes that whole area very difficult to get to.

Yes Harford Moor Gate. The parking in that area is now very restricted. Maybe capacity for about 6 cars across two sites.

The owner of Harford Moor also erected signs on the approach roads to Harford to discourage visitors, citing excessive traffic.

This part of Dartmoor is now much more difficult to access, and presents a very discouraging aspect to visitors.

The new map published by DNPA now excludes much of the areas that were proposed for exclusion in the original (and publicly rejected) byelaw changes, including the southern areas of Harford Moor and the Darwalls' estate.

They have achieved through this recent process what they had not achieved via the DNPA byelaw changes.

Post edited at 13:55
 Phil79 20 Jan 2023
In reply to petecallaghan:

I see this statement on the website regarding access:

https://harfordmoor.org/home/how-to-get-there/

"The car park at Harford Moor Gate had to be closed in early 2021 to control foot traffic on the erodible peaty soils of Bullaven Hill and heavy traffic in the narrow lane"

However, a cursory glance of that car park on google earth, the one thing that stands out a mile is the multitude of vehicle tracks leading out onto the moor from that car park. Now, thats not down to walkers parking in the car park! 

I'm sure there is erosion from foot traffic, but is that more significant than quads & landies trundling out from that single access point? Unlikely I would think.    

And with the closure of New Waste car park is probably just focusing the problem on any remaining access points....

Maybe if they were to collectively improve access with additional car parks, and some hardening of paths leading out from them, that would help, I'd happily see public money spent on that.....  

Fair enough statement with regard to heavy traffic in those lanes though, thats an issue thats not going away.

 BuzyG 20 Jan 2023
In reply to Phil79:

I used to use that car park. It was not large and personaly I never encounted delays or obstruction due to traffic traveling on the lanes to and from.  Mid week I now park by the church with no issues.  Though that space is even smaller. Obviously don't park there when there is a church service. 

The park and go at Ivybridge is both free and large.  Any group walks we do now start from there.  It's a way from there to Pill Hill though. So I can see it putting many new commers off, carrying overnight kit in to the permisive area.  

The Land owners are getting their way thus far. We must reverse this trend.

 Wainers44 21 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

Lovely day for a demo....my very first one.

I have heard various estimates of the numbers who went along. Maybe 3000, maybe more as they were still streaming up the lane after we had been up at Stall Moor for an hour. Considering the demo involved a 4 mile walk climbing about 800ft, an impressive turnout.

Fairly chaotic around Cornwood,  due to the narrow lanes etc, but that sort of underlined the point of the strength of feeling?  Loads of press. Pub selling Old Crockern milk stout provided by right to roam at £2 a pint. Nice touch.

The interim cop out of paying the landowners for permitted camping was damned by everyone, and although it does give some breathing space, it is absolutely not a long term solution. The Darwells must have spent serious dosh today on security as there were loads of burly blokes with burly dogs and poker faces around. Hopefully all earning triple time off our lovely local merchant banker.

A good start, but much more to do.

 petecallaghan 21 Jan 2023
In reply to PaulW:

It was wonderful to feel the love for Dartmoor from so many people. We met loads of ppl in passing who asked what the demo was about, and when we told them they expressed their support. Even some of the security guards watching the entrances to the Darwalls' Blachford Est (just outside the village of Tor) were supportive of wild camping rights.


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