Dartmoor landowners to be paid by park to allow wild camping

A hedge fund manager who won a case over the right to camp on his Dartmoor estate will receive payment for allowing overnight stays after landowners reached a new

agreement. Alexander Darwall won his High Court battle last week in establishing that wild camping is not a right across Dartmoor, where his Blachford Estate is

located. But landowners on Thursday reached a new agreement with the national park to allow campers to stay for one night in designated areas without seeking

permission. Visitors could previously stay for two nights in the park without permission under an assumed right in a local byelaw that was unique in the country.   A

High Court judge ruled last week that the byelaw did not confer a right to pitch tents or camp overnight after a case brought by Mr Darwall and his wife Diana. The couple

own the 4,050 acre Blachford Estate, which includes Saddle Moor, part of the Commons where the Darwalls graze livestock. Under the new arrangements, landowners will be paid

for annual licensing, with the amounts yet to be determined. They will be able to change the terms, including where people will be able to camp, when the licenses come up for

annual review. John Howell, the chair of Dartmoor Commons Owners’ Association, said the amounts were likely to be “nominal”, potentially as low as £1. The payments are

expected to be made by the parks authority, and taxpayer funded via the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.