Richard Foord tables bill on wild camping in national parks

Dartmoor was the only area of England and Wales where under a local law there had been an assumed right to wild camp without the landowner’s permission. However a High Court judge ruled earlier this month that this was legally wrong and permission was needed. That affects not only casual wild campers but also schemes such as the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme.

A limited agreement for camping access with some landowners on has been agreed. But concern remains that an already restricted right of access to camp is being restricted further. Following the decision, wild camping outside of a designated campsite without the landowner’s permission is no longer legal anywhere in England and Wales.

Yesterday, Richard Foord, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, tabled a bill in the House of Commons – the National Parks (Camping) Bill.

 

Speaking to Devon media, Richard Foord said:

The recent ruling on Dartmoor has seen rights we’ve enjoyed for decades put at risk. Thousands of people every year travel to Dartmoor to responsibly enjoy our beautiful part of the world.

It should not be the case that a very small minority of wealthy landowners get to remove access to National Parks, or to make it conditional on being paid.

At a time when the Dartmoor National Park Authority is already experiencing financial pressure, taxpayers’ money should be spent supporting Dartmoor and protecting our countryside – not paying wealthy landowners for access. My Bill will maintain people’s legal right to wild camp responsibly on Dartmoor and access National Park land.

I urge the Government to allow it to be debated, so that MPs can discuss the impact of the ruling and take action to rectify the situation. I will also continue to push for action to tackle the irresponsible use of disposable barbeques, which continue to blight our National Parks.

The bill will receive its second reading on Friday, 14 March.

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4 Comments

  • Inspired thinking. I did Ten Tors for many years in 1970s. I do agree that somehow the litter problem needs solving but denying the right to kids to have an adventure is wrong. I have been fighting mild autism all my life so the fresh air did wonders. Not the blisters though.

  • So what does this mean for all the homeless with tents on roundabouts or tucked away in green spaces around supermarkets? Also the various protest camps that arise from time-to-time.

    This judgement has far reaching implications. Suspect we probably need a national mass trespasswildcamp event, given Extinction Rebellion organised the This Land is Our Land event in recognition of the 1932 mass tresspass on Kinder Scout, perhaps the LibDems should support them in this…

  • Any mass littering after any wildcamp protest would be good news for the landowners. Beware of what you wish for.

  • Toby Kibble 1st Apr '23 - 2:29pm

    Thank you for making a stand on this – I was going to sign your petition, but lost the form.
    You have my full support. My son did the Ten Tors – 35, 45 and 55 miles and my youngest daughter is on her mock ten Tors as I write.

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