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Wild camping ban on Dartmoor?

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It seems that those that predicted that the national park authority seeking to restrict wild camping on Dartmoor was the thin end of the wedge may have been proved correct;

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/13/national-park-authority-defends-wild-camping-rights-on-dartmoor

A Dartmoor landowner has started a court challenge to the established wild camping rights, I wonder if this challenge would have come about if the national park hadn't raised the concept of restricting wild camping through their consultation. 

At least the national park authority are defending those existing rights in this case.

2
 PaulJepson 13 Jun 2022
In reply to jbrom:

They would never get away with it, there would be a mass wild-camp in protest. 

I shit in the cornflakes of these wealthy landowners and I hope they choke on their foie gras. 

9
 montyjohn 14 Jun 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

> I shit in the cornflakes of these wealthy landowners and I hope they choke on their foie gras. 

This is what annoys me about the Guardian. How is referring to them as "Wealthy landowners" relevant to the topic? They are landowners, doesn't matter if they are wealthy or not. You can own land and have zero cash.

They add the word wealthy to get this type of reaction. Us vs them. There's no need to be so divisive.

From the article it sounds like all they are doing is questioning the legality of it. Hopefully if there is a weakness in the right to wild camp it can be firmed up.

42
In reply to montyjohn:

The fact they are wealthy IS significant, since that is what has given them the means to employ barristers and raise a High Court case. 

However you are right (and the thread title is wrong!): They are not seeking to change the law or ban anything, they are seeking to clarify the existing legislation. 

2
Le Sapeur 14 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

> You can own land and have zero cash.

Or you can sell it and have a shit load.

5
 Harry Jarvis 14 Jun 2022
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

> However you are right (and the thread title is wrong!): They are not seeking to change the law or ban anything, they are seeking to clarify the existing legislation. 

I wonder why they might want to do such a thing? 

 montyjohn 14 Jun 2022
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

> The fact they are wealthy IS significant, since that is what has given them the means to employ barristers and raise a High Court case. 

I don't see the significance of it to be honest.

If I was telling survival stories about westerners that had climbed Everest, they would be almost exclusively wealthy people as they would need to be, but I wouldn't see the need to point out their wealth as it's irrelevant to their survival story.

The Guardian has their reasons.

Post edited at 09:51
26
 montyjohn 14 Jun 2022
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> I wonder why they might want to do such a thing? 

Well it's obvious they are looking to stop people camping on their land.

Maybe they just want to prevent large groups gathering but I doubt it.

They probably just want the land to themselves, which is very unfair considered they would have known that wild camping was allowed when they bought the land (or inherited it or however they came to own it).

1
 Harry Jarvis 14 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

> > I wonder why they might want to do such a thing? 

> Well it's obvious they are looking to stop people camping on their land.

Clearly

> They probably just want the land to themselves, which is very unfair considered they would have known that wild camping was allowed when they bought the land (or inherited it or however they came to own it).

It is explained in the linked article that they bought the land in 2011. 

 Kemics 14 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

The reality is though if you own land, as in tracts of land not just have a house with a garden, you are by default wealthy because it is an enormously valuable asset. It is an oxymoron to be a "cashless land owner", it's like saying I have zero cash, just piles of gold bars. 

Land ownership is a deeply murky business, one step removed from racketeering. I never really thought about it, earlier this year I read The Book of Trespass by Nick Hayes and Who Owns England? by Guy Shrubsole. I would highly recommend both. Although sadly very depressing reading, it is important knowledge 

4
 Cheese Monkey 14 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

Suggest you look up who actually "owns" Dartmoor. Majority are not exactly poor, even if you exclude the value of the land

 Ben Callard 14 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

> I don't see the significance of it to be honest.

Owning 2000+ acres of Dartmoor makes you wealthy, regardless of your bank balance. Being wealthy is relevant, as wealth equals power. The owners are using their power to try and see if they can stop wild camping on their land, and remove the rights that others less wealthy use to increase their quality of life.  

2
 timjones 14 Jun 2022
In reply to Kemics:

> Land ownership is a deeply murky business, one step removed from racketeering. I never really thought about it, earlier this year I read The Book of Trespass by Nick Hayes and Who Owns England? by Guy Shrubsole. I would highly recommend both. Although sadly very depressing reading, it is important knowledge 

Maybe you ought to think more carefully about what you read!

As a livestock farmer and landowner I can think of a few "professions" that are a lot closer on racketeering than a simple farmer.

11
 Kemics 14 Jun 2022
In reply to timjones:

Yes absolutely, I couldn't agree more. Small farmers (and their farms) are a tremendous asset to the country. 

My biggest problem is with (largely Tory) politicians and peers who manipulate the government policy that is of massive and unjustifiable benefits for them and their chums. 

For example the Lilburn Estate Grouse Moor, owned by Duncan Davidson who founded Persimmon Homes, got given £1.8 million in farming subsidies in 2018 alone. Despite the fact a grouse moor achieves nothing but ecological destruction. (he also has a personal wealth of £175m) 

Farming subsidies are there to support hardworking farmers like yourself as a critical part of the UK. But there's no cap, it's simply scaled so incredibly wealthy landowners using their land in selfish and destructive ways get bags full of tax payer money. I think racketeering is very apt term!  

2
 PaulJepson 14 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

That's a very naïve view. Why would they be wanting to 'firm up' whether wild camping is legal on their land? People already do it, so the only reason they are wanting to investigate the legality of it is to restrict access, not grant further access.  

If you own land enough for people to wild camp on, you are pretty wealthy. We are on a very small and congested island with a growing population. People buying up parts of national parks and trying to restrict their recreational use is incredibly selfish and ultimately we should be coming together and eating these individuals. This isn't a smallholding owned by a downtrodden farmer, this is a national park. 

4
 montyjohn 14 Jun 2022
In reply to PaulJepson:

> That's a very naïve view. Why would they be wanting to 'firm up' whether wild camping is legal on their land?

I think you miss understood me.

I was saying that if it turns out there is a legal hole in the right to wild camp then it can be firmed up. I wouldn't expect the land owners to do this but DNPA are clearly keen.

> If you own land enough for people to wild camp on, you are pretty wealthy. We are on a very small and congested island with a growing population. People buying up parts of national parks and trying to restrict their recreational use is incredibly selfish and ultimately we should be coming together and eating these individuals. This isn't a smallholding owned by a downtrodden farmer, this is a national park. 

Fully agree. I would never suggest otherwise. Although not sure about the use of the word "eating". But it should and hopefully will be challenged if we don't get the result we want.

Post edited at 14:18
 ExiledScot 14 Jun 2022
In reply to jbrom or all:

Their wealth should be irrelevant. The issue is the modern camper is a messy f**ker. 

12
 Ben Callard 14 Jun 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

> The issue is the modern camper is a messy f**ker. 

But what's permitted is 'leave no trace' wild camping. So those people are already breaking the rules.  

 NaCl 14 Jun 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

"Their wealth should be irrelevant. The issue is the modern camper is a messy f**ker. "

Anyone who carries on like that isn't likely to be put off by a sign saying "no camping" anyways no?

In reply to NaCl:

> Anyone who carries on like that isn't likely to be put off by a sign saying "no camping" anyways no?

The mess left by some on Dartmoor over the last couple of summers has been a real issue. 

 ExiledScot 14 Jun 2022
In reply to NaCl:

No they won't be put off. So a ban on disposable bbqs would be a good start. Then some pressure on manufacturers or shops selling tents at what disposable prices. 

It's ironic, the 'greta' generation are quick to blame the baby boomers for everything, but it isn't the baby boomers littering the countryside or abandoning thousands of tents at Glastonbury next week. 

8
In reply to montyjohn:

Look him up. Buys up large areas of land and then trys to stop people enjoying it

Post edited at 21:44
1
 NaCl 14 Jun 2022
In reply to Mark Kemball:

True enough and there's no excuse for it. While stopping everyone camping on the moor may stop it, lets be honest-  rather than enforcing a ban on camping why not enforce a ban on being a feckwit instead? If this goes anywhere it would be rather like removing a leg to remove a tumour (or some other analogy).

 NaCl 14 Jun 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

"No they won't be put off. So a ban on disposable bbqs would be a good start. Then some pressure on manufacturers or shops selling tents at what disposable prices."

True enough. I can't stand disposable bbqs and the behaviour that goes with them. Making tents non disposable also. Tents do still need to be vaguely affordable though unless you want all youths to have no experience of the outdoors. at all.

"it's ironic, the 'greta' generation are quick to blame the baby boomers for everything, but it isn't the baby boomers littering the countryside or abandoning thousands of tents at Glastonbury next week. "

Again true enough. You are aware that you're tarring an entire generation with the same brush though, right? I'm not sure when a thread on not banning camping on Dartmoor became a harangue on the youth of today even though there's obviously some turds in there.

1
 spenser 15 Jun 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

It is entirely possible that there is a variance in attitudes across a generation, some of my generation do very much care about the environment and are frustrated by those is previous generations who have the power to change things yet clearly don't care (such as many members of our current government).

Some of us unfortunately don't and will leave their tents behind at Glastonbury. Judging by stories I have heard a half decent tent leaving a festival in one piece would be a surprise, I certainly wouldn't take anything pricey and would accept there was a high chance of it being damaged/ needing repair after. 

1
 ExiledScot 15 Jun 2022
In reply to spenser:

Perhaps the entire model of festival accommodation is wrong and environmentally damaging?

Anyway, back on track, how many under 50s would even know the countryside code? 

Look at the litter on road verges, Greggs, McDs etc. there are millions growing up with zero respect for where they live, their own doorstep, not just the hills. 

Ps. Yes I know festivals claim to collect tents for charities accommodation overseas, ever seen a picture of a tent actually in use there? A sleeping bag? Cheap foam mattress?

Post edited at 07:36
7
 NaCl 15 Jun 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

I thought "on track" would be talking about a wealthy landowner trying to stop camping on public access land no? 

Banging on about the youth of today while feeling superior, (you may well be), is quite beside the point as everyone will be affected by this regardless of age. 

1
 ExiledScot 15 Jun 2022
In reply to NaCl:

Or the landowners motives and reasoning?

 NaCl 15 Jun 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

Camping is legal on land. 

Landowner wants to "clarify" law.

There's no reason to do that unless they want to alter the current situation in some way: limit/ban/put restrictions on/otherwise affect access. 

And all of these won't affect the feckwits anyways unless the rules are enforced. If you are going to actually find the money to enforce the rules, you may as well save the money on the courts and just enforce the current ones. Unless you don't want anyone in the land of course. 

But I can't imagine why anyone would want to change the rules

Edit: sorry, of course it's possible they want to clarify the law to make it easier/have more people/loud music/fires etc. I do kinda doubt it though

 ExiledScot 15 Jun 2022
In reply to NaCl:

I doubt anyone would wish to clarify, alter, define the law without reason. It's not cheap or hassle free.

Camping isn't legal on all land, hence their desire to clarify?

In reply to NaCl:

> Camping is legal on land. 

Is it ?? How do you know??

That's the problem. 

Camping is currently accepted or even promoted on the land but the landowner feels there is no basis in law for this, and that the situation should be the same as elsewhere in the UK. 

 NaCl 15 Jun 2022
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

Fair enough. I'm no solicitor obv'. That said, there's a sufficiently well documented precedent for wild camping on Dartmoor that it is mentioned by Ordnance survey, DM national park websites and no doubt others ( 2 sec google search).

Regardless, you are still backing up my point that there can only really be one reason for the legal challenge. 

There's no altruistic reason to be going to court with this.

Post edited at 08:43
 spenser 15 Jun 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

It was taught when I was in school (now 29 so hardly old), so I would guess a similar proportion to your generation will be unaware of it. I couldn't recite the words off the top of my head but am well aware of closing gates and not interfering with livestock if it is where it should be (the ruddy great horse I found wandering the road last year was admittedly coaxed into a nearby field to avoid him adorning someone's bonnet) and not leaving litter.

This isn't a generation problem, it is an asshole problem which has got worse as the population has increased. 

Festival accommodation probably isn't done correctly, however they are not something I frequent so I can't comment on the best solution. 

1
 Phil79 15 Jun 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

> This is what annoys me about the Guardian. How is referring to them as "Wealthy landowners" relevant to the topic? They are landowners, doesn't matter if they are wealthy or not. You can own land and have zero cash.

Although factually correct in this case. Chap is loaded, he owns another estate in Scotland (where they wanted to charge people £10 a day to pan for gold):

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15885369.landowners-panned-charging-search-little-pot-gold/

He also shut a permissive car park on his Dartmoor estate (the only one for some kilometres that allows access to that bit of moorland), so in my mind has a track record of restricting existing rights that people have enjoyed relating to access and the outdoors.

Post edited at 09:11
In reply to spenser:

> This isn't a generation problem, it is an asshole problem which has got worse as the population has increased. 

Absolutely. While we can idly speculate whether the proportions are currently better or worse, it's unfortunately true that every generation has had its share of idiots who drop litter and act like... idiots. No race religion country or generation holds the monopoly on idiots, you can find some everywhere

As more and more people spend time outdoors, we will get more and more problem behaviour, be it litter or problematic camping or BBQs or whatever. This is partly a consequence of increased outdoor leisure.

Rather than bicker on whether boomers are worse than Greta generation, what can be done to reduce the problem? 

* Education and advertising (of correct behaviours)
* Policing, maybe horseback rangers with localised powers (like park police, forest constables or other examples) - which actually is more about education and deterrent than actual enforcement

Happy to hear constructive suggestions

 Phil79 15 Jun 2022
In reply to Mark Kemball:

> The mess left by some on Dartmoor over the last couple of summers has been a real issue. 

In my experience, by last summer it was pretty much back to 'normal' (i.e. isolated instances of people being idiots).

2020 there was definitely a big uptick in a***hole behaviour. 

1
 RobAJones 15 Jun 2022
In reply to spenser:

> It was taught when I was in school (now 29 so hardly old)

Pretty young by Glastonbury standards, about 10 years younger than the average. Not surprising given the average age of the recent headline acts.

 NaCl 15 Jun 2022
In reply to CantClimbTom:

This. Exactly this. Being divisive and blaming other generations is redundant as there's always been muppets regardless of age.

Education will help but I think only a proportion of the culprits will respond. In an ideal world I'd be thinking enforcement is the answer. Preferably by snipers. There's few social problems that wouldn't be eliminated or at least ameliorated by hidden snipers. You don't know who's watching - best behave 

 montyjohn 15 Jun 2022
In reply to CantClimbTom:

> Rather than bicker on whether boomers are worse than Greta generation, what can be done to reduce the problem? 

I can't think of a carrot. To be honest we shouldn't need one.

I think the stick is the only solution. Those caught in the act of littering have to do community service picking up litter.

The obvious problem here is catching people in the act.

It's easier to catch people in Urban areas with the amount of CCTV, so maybe focusing here will create a culture change that will be mirrored in the countryside.

 Phil79 15 Jun 2022
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

> Suggest you look up who actually "owns" Dartmoor. Majority are not exactly poor, even if you exclude the value of the land

For anyone interested, this blog shines some light on the matter.

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

 ExiledScot 15 Jun 2022
In reply to spenser:

Ok maybe I jumped the gun on ageism! Perhaps it's not age related directly, only a whole group of people who for the last 30 years barely holidayed in the uk, or used the countryside. With covid restrictions, plus the outdoors and conquering hills becoming a social media thing, perhaps there's a whole gaggle of people with no real sense on how to use the outdoors wisely. 

Note. Glastonbury isn't age related like most festivals, it's for middle class folk who can afford the time off, the tickets and food or drink there. And as said above seeing headliners who peaked 30 years ago! 

Post edited at 11:11
In reply to ExiledScot:

> Ps. Yes I know festivals claim to collect tents for charities accommodation overseas, ever seen a picture of a tent actually in use there? A sleeping bag? Cheap foam mattress?

I think that's an urban myth. No reputable charity is going to supply a p155 stained Halfords pop up tent for disaster relief or similar.

3
 RobAJones 15 Jun 2022
In reply to Ridge:

> I think that's an urban myth. No reputable charity is going to supply a p155 stained Halfords pop up tent for disaster relief or similar.

It does happen, I know people who took tents/bags from Kendal Calling to Calais, but only a small proportion of the discarded tents are suitable. I'm also uncomfortable with the message it sends, similar to me arguing with parents complaining it's unfair that their kids are being sanctioned for not clearing away at lunchtime because we have cleaners/lunchtime supervisors who are paid to do that.

https://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/17808831.kendal-calling-festival-salvage-help-refugees-calais-greece/

Post edited at 11:46
 PaulW 15 Jun 2022
In reply to Kemics:

I loved Book Of Trespass too, a thought provoking read.

In reply to NaCl:

> ... by snipers....

I think you're on to something, but there's been terrible recruitmnet issues in hospitality and leisure industry also including outdoor skills, so snipers could be more challenging to recruit and retain post Covid.

However killing 3 birds with one stone: there's been endless talk about Wolf re-wilding that so far seems all talk and no trousers. Maybe releasing wolf packs that have undergone some type of Pavlovian training and become ravenous at the scent of a Millets tent or the smell of a disposable BBQ. This would be deterrent, enforcement and conservation all rolled up in one --> Win Win Win

Post edited at 13:30
1
 subtle 15 Jun 2022
In reply to CantClimbTom:

> However killing 3 birds with one stone: there's been endless talk about Wolf re-wilding that so far seems all talk and no trousers. Maybe releasing wolf packs that have undergone some type of Pavlovian training and become ravenous at the scent of a Millets tent or the smell of a disposable BBQ. 

I do like a nice pavlova!

In reply to CantClimbTom:

> snipers could be more challenging to recruit and retain post Covid.

I'd be happy to volunteer at weekends, assuming rifle and ammunition is provided.

 Tringa 15 Jun 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

> Ok maybe I jumped the gun on ageism! Perhaps it's not age related directly, only a whole group of people who for the last 30 years barely holidayed in the uk, or used the countryside. With covid restrictions, plus the outdoors and conquering hills becoming a social media thing, perhaps there's a whole gaggle of people with no real sense on how to use the outdoors wisely. 

>

A good point.

30 - 35 years ago I did a course at Plas y Brenin.

One of the participants worked for the Snowdonia National Park. In a discussion about the use of the countryside he said he thought some school groups should not be allowed in the countryside. He wasn't entirely serious but was making a point that many of them do not know how rural areas work and do not know to behave in the countryside, and that education is needed.

I think it is sorely needed for some adults too.

Dave

 ExiledScot 15 Jun 2022
In reply to Tringa:

You could tie it back in to funding for local authority outdoor education centres, school residentials, is the scouts still as popular... there are likely several missed education opportunities.

 RobAJones 15 Jun 2022
In reply to Tringa:

>thought some school groups should not be allowed in the countryside.

Sounds like some of the DoE groups I was involved with just before covid. There was some funding available to increase/promote it amongst disadvantaged students. 

>He wasn't entirely serious but was making a point 

The campsite that will no longer accept bookings from us is being serious and I can understand their point of view. 

In reply to subtle:

> I do like a nice pavlova!

You BEAST!

In reply to ExiledScot:

> is the scouts still as popular...

Very much so. But that has changed massively too, I'm a Scout leader and have just been reading a 1969 scout annual - the difference in things that are 'taught' in scouting now compared to then is huge - so much more nature-related stuff in the old literature.  Conversely, Schools are doing much more outdoorsy stuff now, especially at infants and junior school level - 'forest schools' is the in-thing these days.  I don't know if responsible behaviour in the outdoors is being taught though.

Post edited at 11:42

> The campsite that will no longer accept bookings from us is being serious and I can understand their point of view. 

This is really sad and will only serve to worsen the problem. 

 Sean Kelly 16 Jun 2022
In reply to Mark Kemball:

> The mess left by some on Dartmoor over the last couple of summers has been a real issue. 

Not only on Dartmoor Mark. The mess last summer from illegal campers at Long Quarry Point was dreadful, with the wanton destruction of hundreds of glass bottles smashed against the rocks, aside from abandoned camping detritus. It makes one weep!

 stubbed 16 Jun 2022
In reply to Toerag:

My children have much more 'structured' learning in the outdoors, through primary school & scouting organisations, than I did, and plenty of family camping & climbing, which I didn't have at all. My outdoor learning was restricted to field sports (I grew up on a farm) followed by the army cadets much later. I would say that they are much more aware of the value of nature & how we should look after it. As a child I didn't think twice about hedgehogs in the garden or house martins in our barn, but my children are thrilled with these.

Additionally, my two have got an awful lot out of scouts & girl guides. The outdoor stuff we might cover as a family but things like supermarket bag packing, visiting the food bank, doing the plant sales, and those kinds of things have been an eye opener for these middle class children.


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