Organising a sports event

This guidance is for those organising large scale recreational events including hill races, sponsored walks and challenge events, orienteering events, mountain bike events, long-distance riding and endurance events.  The Authority recognises the positive benefits that organised recreational events can bring by enriching people’s experience of Dartmoor and contributing to the local economy.  But we also want to ensure that any negative impacts such as increased erosion and disruption to local communities is minimised.

We encourage the organisers of large scale recreational events to liaise with us at an early stage of their planning.  

Advice for planning a successful event

We can provide advice and specialist knowledge which will help you plan your event.  We want all recreational events, including yours, to be a success and sustainable.

Please contact us at an early stage where your proposed event is likely to involve more than:

50 people on foot

30 cyclists

30 horse riders

Allow at least 6 months for planning your event and obtaining any permissions necessary.  For larger events of over 100 people it is recommended that you allow 12 months in order to plan your event effectively.

Step 1 – Initial planning and research

  • Identify suitable areas, locations, routes and activities.
  • Consider the impact your event may have on other users, land managers, local communities and wildlife
  • Consider whether land manager permission is going to be needed
  • Decide whether to hold your event, or take stock of your plans
  • Further information about how to plan your event can be found on the Event Planning page.

Step 2 – Notifying us of your event

  • Complete an Event Notification Form as fully as possible providing a map of the proposed route and details of arrangements for any overnight stops.

Event Notification Form

These details will be considered by our Recreation and Access team .  We will also send details of your event to the relevant landowners and commoners associations. 

Step 3 – Consultation responses

We will advise you of any potential problems associated with the event, and work with you to resolve them.  We will also decide whether we need to undertake any on-site monitoring prior, during or after the event.

We will send a notification letter to you outlining our decision on whether the National Park Authority is able to support your event going ahead.  In some cases, we may “approve” your event with conditions attached.  We will also notify relevant consultees of our decision and any conditions. 

Step 4 – Running your event

  • Ensure that all necessary permissions and approvals have been obtained
  • Prepare an overall Event Management Plan
  • Undertake your risk assessments and health and safety plans
  • Arrange insurance
  • Recruit helpers and marshals 

Step 5 – After your event

  • move all checkpoints, signs and other infrastructure
  • Clear all litter
  • Seek feedback from participants
  • We encourage you to produce a brief report on the benefits, impacts and any lessons learned and to share it with us.

Forthcoming Events

Details of forthcoming large scale recreational events can be found here.