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Organising Events in the National Park

Haytor HellerNational Parks are very special places designated for their great natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.

Dartmoor National Park 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.

The Authority operates an organised events system and actively encourages the organisers of large scale recreational events to liaise with DNPA at an early stage when planning their event.  This has the benefit of avoiding potential clashes with other events, and helps to ensure that route planning and organisation of events does not conflict with ecological or archaeological concerns.

Large scale and organised “challenge” type of events have become increasingly popular throughout the National Park in recent years with many people taking part to raise money for charitable causes, or taking part as a personal challenge.

The type of events that this guidance is aimed at includes hill races, sponsored walks and challenge events, orienteering events, mountain bike events, long-distance riding and endurance events. View a map showing current organised events.

£ for the Park voluntary donation scheme

The Authority has launched a voluntary donation scheme for those participating in organised events, enabling them to put something back into Dartmoor.  Money raised will be used towards access and wildlife conservation projects.  To find out more click visit the £ for the Park page.

Advice for planning a successful event

The Authority 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 200 people it is recommended that you allow 12 months in order to plan your event effectively.

Step 1 – Initial planning and research

  • Ensure your event is consistent with National Park purposes
  • 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 – Booking your event

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

These details will be considered by the National Park Authority’s Recreation, Ecology, Archaeology and Land Management sections and Ranger Service.  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 to be adhered to.

Step 4 – Running your event

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

Step 5 – After your event

  • Remove 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.

Page last updated: 10 Nov 2014