Camping

Update as of January 2023

The High Court ruling delivered on 13 January 2023 clarifies the situation regarding camping on Dartmoor. It is not, in fact, a legal right as had previously been assumed under the Dartmoor Byelaws.

The owners of Harford Moor consider that backpack camping in remote areas, if done responsibly, is a wonderful experience and would like it to continue. We are working with the Dartmoor Commons Owners Association and the Dartmoor National Park Authority to establish a common way forward with our neighbours. For the meantime, we grant anyone use of the moor for permissive backpack camping on the northern half of Harford Moor, i.e. all of it north of Piles Hill in a line from Piles Gate (SX648613) to Glasscombe Corner (SX663610) and excluding Higher Piles and Piles Copse for environmental reasons. The easy access and pressure of use in the southern half of the moor means that we cannot give open permission at present.

In the area specified, permissive camping is allowed under the usual rules of “leave no trace”.

  • You may only take what can be carried in a backpack (no cooler boxes, chairs, etc.).
  • You may stay no more than one night without contacting us for consent to stay longer.
  • There must be no more than six people in a group.
  • Light no fires other than a proper small camping stove (which must not be placed on to the grass – put it on a rock).
  • Take all rubbish home.
  • Bury faeces and used toilet paper under at least 15 cm (6 in.) of turf (you will need to take a trowel with you).
  • Keep peaceful and do not disturb wildlife.
  • Chill out and enjoy it!

If you value the experience, then please consider making a contribution to the “Donate for Dartmoor” fund, which helps to pay for the management of the moor. You can this online here:

https://www.dartmoor.gov.uk/wildlife-and-heritage/our-conservation-work/donate-for-dartmoor

We have drawn the southern boundary of the permitted camping area in such a way that it excludes the area where we have had damaging fly camping in the past, but keeps the area where genuine backpack camping has always happened. This is to help improve the environment, and if you are a genuine long distance backpack camper, you will not be inconvenienced. The permitted area starts only one mile from a road.