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Restore the right to wild camp on Dartmoor

tenst on dartmoor

We, the undersigned, express our support for people to be allowed to 'wild camp' on Dartmoor and in other National Parks across England & Wales.

We believe the High Court ruling in the Alexander Darwall case is just the latest in a string of assaults on public access to the countryside, and sets a dangerous precedent.

We support the 'leave no trace' code, meaning all wild campers must behave responsibly and with respect towards the natural environment they are in. We also support education, so that those who have less experience of the outdoors and a wilderness like Dartmoor, can learn how to respect it when they visit.

We do not believe any one individual has the right to curtail the freedom of others to camp out under the stars, to watch the sun rise over a deserted moor, to be able to wonder at our place in the universe and the magic of nature.

We will support the Dartmoor National Park Authority in any appeal it makes against the ruling.

We believe that Dartmoor is our land. While it needs to be managed, maintained and protected, it should never be closed off to those who want to experience its magic. Now, more than ever, we know the crucial mental and physical health benefits of being outdoors in nature. We should be promoting access to all our open spaces, not curtailing them and shutting them down.

Dartmoor is a special and sacred place. People have lived, farmed, walked and slept on the moor for literally thousands of years. We believe there is no reason why people today should not be allowed to roam across this wild terrain and sleep when they need rest.

Dartmoor was the last remaining place in England or Wales where it was legal to wild camp. 70,000 acres of Dartmoor is available for responsible wild camping but that's just 0.2% of England.

It has hosted the Ten Tors Youth Challenge for over 60 years, giving countless young people their first proper taste of a wilderness and the opportunity for life-changing adventure. Thousands of people live in and around the moor and many hundreds of thousands visit each year.

Dartmoor must remain accessible and open to all.

We know that after a decade of funding cuts, National Parks are on their knees. So we also want to see proper funding for all our National Parks, to support responsible access and education.

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