Wild camping will continue to be permitted in parts of the national park. Photo: Dartmoor NPA

Wild camping will continue to be permitted in parts of the national park. Photo: Dartmoor NPA

Dartmoor National Park Authority said people will continue to be able to wild camp in certain areas, after it reached an agreement with landowners’ representatives.

Outdoor enthusiasts wishing to camp on the moors will need to refer to an interactive map and follow ‘leave no trace’ principles.

The authority met with the Dartmoor Commons Owners’ Association on Wednesday to discuss the matter following a case in the High Court bought by landowners Alexander Darwall and his wife Diana that ruled wild camping was outside the permissions included in the Dartmoor Commons Act 1985.

At the meeting this week, it was agreed that landowners will grant permission to the authority to allow the public to wild camp through a permissive agreement.

The new system will provide guidance on what constitutes wild camping, based on the principle of ‘leave no trace’. Areas where the public can wild camp without seeking individual permission from landowners will be communicated via an interactive map on Dartmoor National Park Authority’s website in the next few days.

The Duchy of Cornwall, which is headed by the Prince of Wales and is Dartmoor’s largest landowner, is a member of the commons owners’ association.

The national park authority added that, while the agreement is completed, wild camping, including the Ten Tors challenge and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for young people, is permitted with immediate effect.

John Howell, chair of Dartmoor Commons Owners’ Association, said: “We recognise the importance of people being able to enjoy the natural beauty of Dartmoor, including through wild camping, and the benefits that this can bring.”

Dr Kevin Bishop, chief executive of Dartmoor National Park Authority, said: “We have all worked quickly and collectively to ensure clarity is provided.

“Our thanks go to those involved in the discussions who have engaged in this process so positively and proactively. We’re committed to working together to continue all our good work that helps keep Dartmoor special for everyone.”

The authority said all present at the meeting were clear that there is no place for illegal ‘fly camping’ on Dartmoor. Fly camping, which often involves large groups with barbecues or open fires, should not be confused with true wild camping and will continue to be prohibited, it said.

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