Dartmoor wild camping will be free and 'unrestricted' say landowners

260123 Dartmoor camping PA
Landowners Mr and Mrs Dawall have spoken out saying they understand that people "have been upset" Credit: PA

Landowners say they will not be restricting access on Dartmoor or charge a fee, following concerns people could have to pay to camp in the National Park.

Thousands have been protesting after a High Court ruling that people would need the landowners' permission to wild camp on Dartmoor.

An agreement was reached between landowners Alexander and Diana Darwall and the Dartmoor National Park Authority, allowing people to wild camp in certain areas.

But campaigners have called for a Right to Roam act to be put through Parliament.

Today (26 January) landowners Mr and Mrs Darwall have issued a statement, trying to reassure campers that access will not be restricted and will be free.

It is the first time they have spoken publicly saying they understand that people "have been upset" and said "it is very regrettable that this has caused unnecessary worry."

Their statement reads: "Dartmoor is increasingly under pressure from fly campers, litter, raves and so on – a small number of people who spoil it for everyone.

"We want to keep Dartmoor unspoilt with the principle of leave no trace. We also have legal and environmental responsibilities which we take seriously.

"We wanted improved cooperation and understanding with the Dartmoor National Park Authority.

"We are now in a much better place to cooperate and work with the DNPA in a positive way for the best outcome for everyone.

Dartmoor ponies in the National Park

"We and other owners worked extremely quickly to get a plan and a map in place following the court ruling.

"We expect the final agreement to be finalised very soon so that organised camping like Ten Tors and Duke of Edinburgh’s awards, and individual wild campers can continue.

"The High Court Case only ever sought clarity on the meaning of S10(1) of the Dartmoor Commons Act 1985. The Judgement clarified what the statute intended.

"Access is legally enshrined; we hope and expect that wild camping will always be available to all."