Coronavirus Update

Last updated: 22 May 2020

Visiting Dartmoor

An open letter from Chief Executive Dr Kevin Bishop, thanking you for your support

We can now take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise, drive to other destinations – as long as existing rules on social distancing are followed.

We look forward to welcoming visitors back 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.

Dartmoor National Park toilets at Meldon Reservoir, Haytor, Dartmeet, Postbridge , Venford Reservoir and Shipley Bridge and visitor centres are closed. We are working hard to open these as soon as it is safe to do so.

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:

Stay safe

  • 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 apart)
  • Clean your hands regularly –  bring hand/sanitising gel with you (as there are no facilities available to wash hands) 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

Be considerate

  • 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

Be responsible

  • 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
  • Don’t wild camp
  • Come during the day but don’t stay overnight in second homes, camper vans or tents.
  • Please cycle on permitted routes, you cannot cycle on open moorland

Public Rights of Way

Public Rights of Way and Coronavirus (Covid-19)

National Park Authority

Our HQ at Parke and Visitor Centres are now 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.

Contact us

Formal meetings, including Authority and Development Management Committee, will take place via video conference.  Please refer to the updated calendar of meetings.

Planning service

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.

Our Communities

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.

Find out how to apply for a grant

Dartmoor Businesses

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 progressing some selection processes remotely, however recruitment to some vacant positions has been postponed until further notice. We will continue to keep in contact with shortlisted applicants and advise when we are in a position to proceed. There are no current vacancies.