Haytor, Dartmoor. Photo: Thierry Gregorius CC-BY-2.0

Haytor, Dartmoor. Photo: Thierry Gregorius [CC-2.0]

National park bosses have pleaded with members of the public to act responsibly as winter conditions affect the area.

Dartmoor National Park Authority said resources are stretched when snow is forecast.

A spokesperson for the authority said: “While it is understandable that members of the public want to enjoy wintry conditions on Dartmoor, we are asking that a thought is spared for those whose daily lives and work can be severely affected by irresponsible behaviour during periods of snowfall.

“Icy roads and snow can cause great difficulty for emergency services, highway authorities, local residents and farmers on the high moor.”

The national park asked visitors to use commonsense while the area is in the grip of winter. It issued a list of guidelines.

  • Heed verbal advice and warnings from officials, regularly monitor and act upon local media updates and weather reports
  • Do not obstruct gateways. Farmers need access to fields in adverse weather to check on the welfare of animals. Animals’ lives could be put at risk by inappropriate parking
  • Your rights of access do not change during snowfall, so do not enter farmers’ fields for sledging or damage property, including gates, walls and fences. Stay on the open moorland areas
  • Keep dogs under control at all times
  • Enjoy yourselves, be safe and take all litter, including sledging materials, home with you
  • Take adequate warm clothing, shovel, blankets, food, and a hot drink. Be prepared for weather conditions deteriorating rapidly
  • If you do drive on to the moor be aware that many vehicles are damaged during periods of snow and icy conditions – drive sensibly and park sensibly
  • Use official car parks and laybys for parking
  • Do not leave unattended vehicles on roadsides, verges or turning areas – even if the person in front of you decides to. Vehicles left in this manner can obstruct emergency services access
  • Should snowfall be heavy and road closures are in place, do not drive beyond ‘road closed’ signs. The signs will be there for a reason; additional traffic on roads that are closed hampers clearance operations as snow ploughs are unable to pass.

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