Last updated: 02 Sep 2020
An open letter from Chief Executive Dr Kevin Bishop, thanking you for your support
We can now reconnect with the outdoors, take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise and support local businesses by enjoying some of our excellent local produce or shopping in one of our town and villages – as long as existing rules on social distancing are followed.
We welcome visitors to Dartmoor. Our priority is to help people remain safe – those who come to exercise and the people who live and work in the National Park.
Car parks, toilets and visitor centres
National Park Authority car parks are open. If car parks are full, please do not park on verges, double yellow lines, in front of gates and entrances, narrow lanes or anywhere on the road where you will block access. Access must be kept clear for farmers, residents and emergency services.
Please note: Car parking fees have been reintroduced at Meldon Reservoir, Haytor (upper and lower) and Princetown.
Following comprehensive risk assessments, toilets have reopened at:
- Venford Reservoir (the accessible toilet and male toilets only – the female loos remained closed)
- Meldon Reservoir
They are open seven days a week.
We’re asking that a maximum of two people use them at any one time to help stick to social distancing rules.
We will close toilets when undertaking enhanced cleaning measures and ask people to be patient and not to go into them while work is happening.
Busy times and busy places
If you are planning to come to a popular location; for example Haytor, Postbridge, Burrator Reservoir, Meldon reservoir, Two Bridges or riverside sites such as Newbridge/Spitchwick, Bellever and Cadover Bridge, try and avoid the busiest times to keep yourself safe and avoid disappointment. Busiest times are normally between 1 and 3pm but keep an eye on our social media channels for updates.
For information on sites managed by SW Lakes Trust
If you choose to come to Dartmoor things will be different – you can’t simply do what you did before.
We kindly ask you to make a few changes to the way you visit to protect yourself and our communities, so we can all do our bit to control the spread of Covid-19. Every single action you take will make a difference. Please:
- Limit contact with other people – think about when you come and avoid busy sites and peak times of day (between 1 and 3pm)
- Follow social distancing rules. Keep away from other people (2 metres where possible)
- Wear a mask or face covering in shops and other enclosed public spaces
- Clean your hands regularly – bring hand/sanitising gel with you (as there may not be hand washing facilities available) and use it after touching shared surfaces e.g. gates and stiles when walking on paths
- Keep your dog on a lead at all times
- Look out for ticks and adders
- Of farmers, local communities and the vulnerable. Avoid paths through farmyards and gardens – don’t linger if you use them
- Of the wildlife, countryside and unique landscape – the lambing, foal and bird breeding season
- When you park, please make sure you aren't blocking gateways, narrow lanes or driveways
- To our rangers and staff – they are here to look after Dartmoor and those living, working and visiting
- To other visitors – share the space, limit your visits
- Be patient with other people
- No barbecues or fires – the ground is very dry and there is a risk of fires spreading causing extra pressure on emergency services and harming wildlife.
- Follow the ranger code
- Take your litter home. It can harm wildlife and grazing animals and is a health risk.
- Camp in permitted areas and leave no trace.
- Please cycle on permitted routes, you cannot cycle on open moorland.
Public Rights of Way
National Park Authority
Our HQ at Parke remains closed to the public.
Most of our staff are now working from home. You can still reach us by phone or email in the usual way.
Formal meetings, including Authority and Development Management Committee, will take place via video conference. Please refer to the updated calendar of meetings.
For the foreseeable future we will only be able to receive new planning applications electronically through the planning portal website. We will not be able to deal with planning applications that are received by post until further notice.
We will be continuing to validate and process applications where possible and will keep you informed where there are any problems or delays. See our planning advice page.
During this difficult period it is vital that we support each other and reach out to communities in need, which is why we have launched the Coronavirus Community Support Grant (CCSG).
The scheme rapidly provides grants of up to £500 to voluntary and community groups to help them tackle the impacts of the outbreak and help those who are most vulnerable.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is already impacting business on Dartmoor and has the potential to significantly impact our rural economy.
Whilst we as a National Park Authority are not in a position to provide legal advice or to provide public health advice, we can help share the various resources available for local businesses. These are available on the Business page.
We are now progressing most selection processes remotely, however recruitment to some vacant positions has been postponed until further notice. Candidates shortlisted for those positions have already been contacted.