Organised Events - planning your event
Event PlanningIn working with event organisers, the Authority seeks to safeguard the special qualities and tranquillity of the National Park and encourages the appropriate activities to be undertaken in the right locations. We hope that event organisers will consider using local services and suppliers as much as possible and seek to minimise the impact of recreation on the environment and local communities.
Timing of eventsThe moorland lambing and main bird breeding season is 1 March to 15 July - this is when animals and ground nesting birds are most prone to disturbance.
The Authority will not normally support events on Bank Holiday weekends to avoid congestion and conflict with other users.
During the bird breeding and lambing season (1 March to 15 July) the Authority will not normally support events involving more than 50 people on foot or 30 horses or cyclists unless wholly confined to tracks with dogs on leads.
Land OwnershipMost land within the National Park is privately owned and in most cases permission must be obtained from the landowner before an event takes place.
Much of the high moorland within the National Park is registered common land, over which many local farmers have rights, particularly for grazing, and these interests must be respected.
The Dartmoor Commons Act 1985 gives a legal right of access to the commons on foot or on horseback but these rights do not extend to organised events on the commons.
A set of Byelaws relating to the Dartmoor Commons has been approved by the Home Office to regulate access. Of particular relevance is the need to get authorisation from the National Park Authority for any entertainment or commercial activity carried out on the commons or other access land. Other regulated activities include parking, camping, lighting fires, dog walking and anything deemed to cause erosion or damage to the land.
Access LandCommon Land and land designated as open country under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 is shown with a yellow wash on Outdoor Leisure 28, the Ordnance Survey Explorer Map for Dartmoor.
Conservation AdviceSome of the places where you might want to hold your event within the National Park have conservation designations, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). Where events are taking place on sites designated as SSSI, then prior approval will also be required from Natural England.
Dartmoor is also rich in archaeological remains and care must be taken not to damage the large number of historical and archaeological sites within the National Park.
Route planning and the locations of checkpoints need to be carefully considered. Your event could have an impact on the environment if:
- The event could cause disturbance to protected or sensitive species, in particular during the breeding season
- Numbers involved are likely to cause damage to vegetation in the specific location
- Specific areas have suffered, or are likely to suffer, from the cumulative effects of events and need time to recover
Maps of important rare bird nesting areas
Other points to note
- Ensure that all participants adhere to the Dartmoor Commons byelaws and the Countryside Code throughout the event. Copies are available from the Dartmoor National Park Authority’s offices at Bovey Tracey and National Park Information Centres
- Fires can be as devastating to wildlife and habitats as they are to people and property. Prevent uncontrolled moorland fires. Moorland vegetation can be dry at any time of the year.
- Ensure that traffic control, and emergency and rescue arrangements are finalised with the police, the Dartmoor Rescue Group and the Dartmoor National Park Authority
- Ensure adequate insurance cover is in place and risk assessments have been undertaken
- Vehicular access to off-road checkpoints is prohibited unless authorised in writing by the landowner
- Ensure that any refreshments provided are available to participants only. Do try to encourage use of local services.
Page last updated: 04 Jun 2013