Dartmoor may look wild and rugged... but in reality it's extremely fragile.
Erosion and general 'over use' particularly at peak periods damages the very fabric of the moor itself including its plants, wildlife and many other animals.
And as more and more people travel across and around the moor every year... the pressure is increasing.Doing your bit
Whether you are a visitor or local resident, everyone can help protect and conserve Dartmoor now, and for the future, by 'doing their bit' and Travelling with Moor Care.
Travelling with Moor Care means thinking about every journey, planning ahead and deciding exactly where you are going and how you will travel there... before you set off.Then you can decide if you really need your car. More than half of all car journeys are less than two miles long, and it's the short journeys, before your engine is warmed up, that cause the most pollution. So before setting off, whether just down to the shops or for a family day out, ask yourself, is a car absolutely essential?
Or is there an alternative form of transport available which could make your journey more enjoyable and sustainable?
If you are under 12 years old and want to join Ranger Ralph's club, visit the Fun Zone of this website.Back to top
Travel with Moor Care
Sit back, relax and enjoy
Why not consider a carefree, car free, day out by using public transport. Over 60,000 trips are made each year using the Dartmoor public transport network, suggesting that a growing number of people are finding that the bus is an enjoyable and more relaxing alternative to the car. For those people without access to a car, it is their only way of travelling around.
You would be surprised just how much more of the National Park's spectacular landscape you can see from a bus, particularly a double decker.There are now over 40 bus routes serving Dartmoor, so there are a host of different destinations to choose from. What's more, by leaving your car at home you don't have to worry about traffic congestion, finding somewhere to fill up with fuel, car parking, vehicle thefts or the many other stresses and strains associated with motoring today. Everyone can enjoy the journey.
Equally important you will be helping to cut down on pollution, vehicle emissions and additional environmental damage to the National Park. You will also be supporting essential bus routes for those who need them.
For the latest public transport information click on Traveline (external link, opens in new window) or call on 0870 608 2608. Or visit the DevonBus website on www.devon-cc.gov.uk/devonbus.(external link, opens in new window)
For the more energetic
If you are feeling a bit more energetic, then consider travelling on foot or by bicycle. It's far healthier, more fun and a very environmentally friendly way of travelling.
These alternatives won't be the right answer for everyone, or every journey. But why not give them a try when you can. You'll feel a lot better for it.
Sharing is caring
If you have to use a car then think about travelling with family or friends in one car if possible. Apart from helping the environment, car sharing can help you save money on fuel costs and is often a good opportunity to talk to you family, friends and neighbours.
Car sharing makes particularly good sense for regular journeys such as school runs, commuting to and from work and shopping trips, as well as for those special fun days out and about the moor.
So please don't use two or three cars on Dartmoor, when one might be enough.
If you have to use your car you can still drive with Moor Care by driving smoothly. Braking or accelerating sharply is not only dangerous; it's bad for fuel consumption, increases fuel emissions and wear and tear on your vehicle.
Think about it
Don't park on grass verges or fragile moorland as you can cause untold damage which may take years to recover. Much of Dartmoor is covered by a peat soil which holds water like a sponge, especially during periods of prolonged wet weather, making it particularly vulnerable to vehicle damage. Always park in designated parking spaces or other hard surfaces.
Cars parked in isolated and remote areas are very attractive to car thieves. Don't encourage them further by leaving valuables on view. Lock them in the boot and take credit cards, cheque books and any cash with you.
Expect the unexpected
Dartmoor's winding, narrow and undulating roads demand special care. Think ahead and be aware of what's around you, as well as in front and behind
Keep a look out for...
agricultural vehicles of all shapes and sizes, often moving slowly.
livestock grazing near the side of the road, lying on the warm tarmac or licking the salt from the surface during the winter months.
cyclists sometimes riding two abreast or hidden round a bend. They also have to cope with bad weather such as rain, wind and poor visibility so please give them every consideration.
horse riders in double file - often for very good reasons. The inside horse could be young, or nervous, or its rider inexperienced. Riders don't usually like riding on the road, but they have to, in order to reach the bridleways. So always slow down before passing horses and don't forget to give them plenty of room, as they are easily frightened.
walkers, often with children, use the roads too – at all times of the day and night. So always be aware and drive according to the conditions.
wildlife, such as foxes and badgers, that could suddenly surprise you by dashing out in front of you, especially at night.
Many animals are killed every year on Dartmoor roads. Always drive according to the road conditions and observe the speed limits. The speed limits are imposed for safety, yours and all other road users including livestock and wildlife.
Thank you for Travelling with Moor Care. Together we can make a difference and help ensure that Dartmoor remains a beautiful, special and enchanting place to live, work, or visit now and for the future.