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Hundreds of people enjoy canoeing on Dartmoor during the winter months each year, making it a popular destination for people from around the country.

Dartmoor National Park Authority welcomes canoeists to Dartmoor who undertake their recreational activity in a responsible manner and continues to actively work with Canoe England, riparian owners and fishing associations to facilitate access arrangements.

Please observe the parking restrictions that have been introduced around Newbridge. Show consideration for the local community and other National Park users when parking vehicles - do not obstruct gateways and roads.

Code of Conduct

Please respect other river users and landowners:

  • Canoe only where there is are access arrangements in place
  • Use only permitted access and egress points and do not disembark at any other point, except in an emergency (not for lunch or to repeat any part of the river).
  • Take care when the ground is wet to minimise erosion to the river bank when entering or leaving the water.
  • Avoid sudden or excessive noise or unnecessary disturbance to bankside vegetation.
  • Show consideration for the local community and other National Park users when parking vehicles; do not obstruct gates and roads and avoid eroding the moor edge.
  • Keep away from banks where angling is taking place.
  • Canoe in small groups whenever possible and avoid loitering in pools if anyone is already fishing there.
  • Change clothing discreetly and with consideration for other users of the National Park.

Safety advice

  • Be aware that rivers on Dartmoor can rise quickly after periods of rainfall
  • never paddle on your own
  • paddle in small groups, keep together and look out for each other
  • make sure someone knows where you are and what time you are due back
  • ensure someone in your group is available call / meet police if a member of your party is overdue
  • canoe in daylight hours only (aim to be off the water at least 1 hour before dusk)
  • keep away from weirs and sluices
  • make sure you are properly equipped for the water and weather conditions - wear a helmet and buoyancy aid at all times
  • do not drop litter or discard unwanted food – take your rubbish home with you
  • be aware of symptoms relating to waterborne illnesses, such as Weil’s Diseases (Leptopsirosis). If you feel ill, particularly if you experience flu-like symptoms, tell your doctor you have been canoeing.

Abandoned or lost craft

Any abandoned craft, which are reported to the Police, have to be treated as an emergency and a search instigated. This often wastes valuable time and resources therefore, if you lose your boat and have safely come off the river please ensure the Police are immediately notified using the non emergency number 08452 777 444, providing:
exact location - including river,
canoe - colour make and type and any significant identification features
canoeist details and contact numbers.

Other useful websites

Canoe England
Dart Angling Association
Environment Agency

Page last updated: 13 Nov 2015
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