By: Blonde Two

Update on Dartmoor wild camping

January 23rd 2023

The picture for wild camping on Dartmoor has changed following a well-publicised High Court decision. This is a developing and controversial situation. Thanks to efforts by the Dartmoor Commons Owners’ Association and Dartmoor National Park Authority, there are currently some areas on Dartmoor where you are still permitted to backpack/wild camp. You can read the news release from Dartmoor National Park Authority here. Please find below a summary.
  • You can currently wild camp on a reduced area of Dartmoor
  • You can view the new Dartmoor wild camping map here
  • If you camp within this area, you don’t need to seek the landowner’s permission
  • If you camp within this area, you don’t need to make an individual payment
  • This is a permissive agreement, which means it can be removed
  • Which means it’s more important than ever to make sure you adopt a leave-no-trace approach
  • Large groups, barbecues and campfires on Dartmoor are still prohibited


Let’s get wild camping right

As a nation we are currently experiencing a staycation revolution. On the surface this is great news for our local economies, particularly those reliant on tourism. Shorter travel distances are also surely better for the environment. With the current emphasis on being outdoors, and indoor holiday accommodation opportunities limited, more and more people are selecting camping as their holiday of choice. Wild camping (for example Dartmoor wild camping) has always been popular but this year it has also seen an increase. Sadly this increase hasn’t always been a positive experience for the landscape, other visitors or those who look after our beautiful outdoor spaces. The National Trust has reported a huge rise in fly-camping with rubbish, human waste and damage being widespread and taking up valuable conservation time.

Campfires damage wild locations

We Blondes love wild camping and have been teaching people how to do it sensitively for years. We work with young people and adults to teach both navigation skills (to help you find a wild location) and wild camping skills (to help you look after yourself and your environment). We can however only reach a few people through our workshops, and are very aware of the common misconceptions of exactly what wild camping looks like. We are sure most of us don’t want to be fly campers but the issue can be confusing, particularly to a beginner.

Looking at the range of information available online you would think that lighting campfires, camping in huge tents and using disposable barbecues were the acceptable norm. They aren’t.

Would you rather be a wild camper or a fly camper? Our handy infographic will help you understand the difference. Click below and please feel free to share it.



Dartmoor Wild Camping or Dartmoor Backpack Camping?


Dartmoor Wild Camping Infographic