Thursday, 28 September, 2023

Wild camping to be allowed in UK national park after appeal

Wild camping to be allowed in UK national park after appeal

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LONDON: Camping overnight will be allowed again in a national park in southwest England after an appeal on Monday overturned a High Court ruling which had banned the long-standing tradition, reports AFP.

A High Court judge ruled earlier this year that the public did not have the right to pitch tents overnight in Dartmoor National Park in Devon, going against a long-running interpretation of a 1985 law as allowing wild camping.

A legal challenge was brought against the Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) by two landowners who alleged that some campers were disrupting the livestock and environment.

The High Court ruling had found that the 1985 Dartmoor Commons Act did not allow for wild camping without the landowners' permission.

The DNPA and Open Spaces Society argued in their appeal earlier this month that camping was a form of open-air recreation.

In the UK, commons are privately-owned, unenclosed areas of land with the right to public access. Until the High Court ruling in January, Dartmoor Commons was the only area in England which allowed for overnight camping without permission from landowners.

Campaigners have argued for a long-established tradition of setting up camp in the moorland and the necessity of camping for other activities like hiking, bird-watching and stargazing.