Dartmoor is an amazing place to explore. Unlike most National Parks, most of it is access land, which means you don’t need to stick to paths – you can go anywhere. However, please remember that you’re sharing this space with others – including important wildlife and farmers who depend on the moor for their livelihoods. Harford Moor is access land, but it’s not a public park. No-one is going to come and pick up any mess you leave behind if you don’t – so please follow the Countryside Code.
Walking and running
You’re welcome to go anywhere on foot, but please follow these rules:
1. Avoid the unsustainable erosion of soil and peat by keeping off worn and eroded paths. Please keep to paved or gravel tracks where possible. If you walk or run off the tracks, please alter your route every time you go out. Avoid soft ground and anywhere where there is bare peat or mud. If you’re walking or running in a group on unpaved tracks, spread out to prevent damage to the soil and vegetation.
2. Keep dogs under close control at all times, and on a short lead during the bird-nesting and lambing season (March to July). This rule also applies to horse riders and cyclists with dogs.
Cycling and horse riding
You can only cycle on bridleways. By the landowner’s consent, you can also cycle on the paved track of the old Redlake railway (the ‘Puffing Billy’ track).
Horse riding is allowed throughout Harford Moor under the Dartmoor Byelaws, but you should bear in mind that it is extremely damaging when the ground is wet. Please make sure you avoid any eroded paths, and stick to paved tracks if possible, especially if it’s been wet recently. Do not canter or gallop, as these are extremely damaging to the ground.
You cannot use motorised vehicles anywhere on the moor without permission.
You can camp anywhere on Harford Moor, except in the enclosed areas of Higher and Lower Piles, in the Addicombe and Butterbrook valleys (where local houses have drinking water sources) and within 100 metres of a wall. But please camp responsibly:
– Take all litter home, leave no trace
– No open fires or BBQ
– Don’t pollute streams or rivers
– Avoid disturbing wildlife
If you worry about carrying your rubbish out, need a bin or a toilet, then this isn’t for you – use a campsite. The nearest option is Harford Bunkhouse.
The main access points for Harford Moor are the moor gates at Cantrell (on Ugborough Moor), Stowford and Harford. Please be considerate when parking and don’t block roads or gates – local people and farmers may need access to them. There is no parking at any of the gates. However, free parking is readily available at the Ivybridge Railway Station car park: from here there is easy access to the moor via David’s Lane to the east and Stowford Lane to the west.
Make sure you’re prepared for all weathers and stay safe – have a look at Dartmoor National Park’s safety advice.
Keep away from livestock, especially when there are young animals around. Keep away from trees when it is windy. Do not try to cross flooded rivers, and do not venture onto featureless moorland without a map and compass (and know how to use them).
Photo credit: Ethan Parsons @wandering_waller