Campaigners protest against plans to stop wild camping on Dartmoor

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Campaigners will gather outside the Royal Courts of Justice today (12 December) to protest against wild camping being banned on Dartmoor.

A legal case is due to be held at the court this week, which will consider whether to outlaw staying overnight in the national park.

Organisers behind the Right to Roam rally argue camping provides inspiration and a connection to the natural world.

A rally also took place in Princetown on Dartmoor at the weekend (11 December).

Campaigner Guy Shrubsole said: "The right to wild camp on Dartmoor is so precious. There's nothing like waking up to the mist rising over Dartmoor. Or seeing the Milky Way on a clear night, if you're lucky.

"These are absolutely magical experiences that stay with you for life."

Campaigner claim their right to access the orr is under threat Credit: Mark Shackleton

Dartmoor is currently the only place in England and Wales where it is legal to wild camp in designated areas without the landowners permission.

But that right is being questioned by estate owners Alexander Darwall and his wife, who are challenging the legal basis of bylaws that allow for wild camping on the moor.

Papers lodged by the Darwalls’ lawyers claim the right of access granted by the Dartmoor Commons Act “does not include a right of wild camping”.

The couple are seeking a declaration that “members of the public are not entitled … to pitch tents or otherwise occupy Stall Moor overnight … except with the claimant’s consent”.

Alexander Darwall bought the 4,000-acre estate with his wife in 2011.

He said he is not seeking to end wild camping but that the “need for landowner permission to wild camp is a vital safeguard”.