Draft Byelaws for Consultation
Dartmoor National Park Authority has agreed draft proposals to update and amend Dartmoor’s byelaws. A consultation is now open for you to comment on the proposed changes to the byelaws. The consultation closes on 1 November 2021. The full set of proposed byelaws are set out below.
Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act 1949
Dartmoor Commons Act 1985
BYELAWS made under Section 17 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, Sections 90 and 106 of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 and Sections 10 and 11 of the Dartmoor Commons Act 1985 by Dartmoor National Park Authority with respect to access land within the Dartmoor National Park.
In the construction of these byelaws “the Authority” means Dartmoor National Park Authority and “Access Land” shall be land:
(i) defined as “the commons” in Section 2 of the Dartmoor Commons Act 1985; and/or
(ii) defined as “access land” in Section 1(1) and Section 16 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000; and/or
(iii) land within the Dartmoor National Park to which the public has access by virtue of the Authority having an interest in that land and which is more particularly identified in Schedule 1 to these byelaws.
2 Extent of Byelaws
Nothing in these byelaws shall apply to:
(i) any act done in pursuance of the exercise of any right of common; or
(ii) the owner of any part of the Access Land as respects any act done on that part by him or by any person acting with his consent and the consent of the Authority where necessary to accord with Byelaws 7(i), 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20(ii), 21.
The Byelaws made by Devon County Council (acting as Park Authority for Dartmoor National Park) on 17 April 1989 and confirmed by the Home Secretary relating to the Access Land are hereby revoked.
No person shall without reasonable excuse drive, ride or propel any mechanically propelled vehicle or any pedal propelled vehicle on any part of the Access Land other than on a highway where there is a right of way for that class of vehicle. If the Authority has set apart a space on the Access Land for use by vehicles of any class, this byelaw shall not prevent the riding or driving of those vehicles in the space so set apart, or on a direct route between it and the highway.
This byelaw shall not extend to mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs (together known legally as ‘invalid carriages’). “Invalid carriage” means a vehicle, whether mechanically propelled or not, the unladen weight of which does not exceed 150 kilograms, the width of which does not exceed 0.85 metres and which has been constructed or adapted for use for the carriage of one person being a person suffering from some physical defect or disability and is used solely by such a person.
(i) The parking of a vehicle is not permitted on those verges where the Authority has erected signs indicating that parking off the highway at those points is prohibited.
(ii) No person shall without reasonable excuse park or cause to remain on the Access Land a caravan or trailer attached or unattached to a towing vehicle, except on any area which is set apart and indicated by notice as a place where the parking of such caravans or trailers is permitted.
(iii) Between the hours of 9pm and 9am no person shall occupy or sleep in any stationary mechanically propelled vehicle, caravan or trailer parked on Access Land.
(iv) No person shall park any mechanically propelled vehicle on Access Land in such a manner as to impede the flow of agricultural traffic or livestock, to block (in whole or part) gateways, or cattlegrid sidegate entrances that are not on the highway.
6 Repairs of vehicles
No person shall clean, paint or carry out repairs on any vehicle parked on the Access Land except in the event of an accident, breakdown or other emergency.
No person shall camp on the Access Land other than in accordance with the provisions of this section. For the avoidance of doubt:-
(i) Camping is only permitted in single person bivouacs or in tents that sleep no more than 3 people and can be carried in a backpack and in groups of no more than 6 people; This byelaw does not apply to agreed expeditions who have written permission from the owner of the land and the Authority;
(ii) No person shall erect or use any tent, bivouac, hammock, tarpaulin or other temporary structure that requires support by cords or bands placed on or around trees;
(iii) Camping is only permitted in the areas as detailed in the Camping Map which shall be (1) published on the Authority’s website and (2) available for inspection at the Dartmoor National Park visitor centres and at the headquarters of the Authority and (3) amended from time to time after approval by the National Park Authority at a public meeting; and
(iv) No person shall camp in a tent for more than 2 consecutive nights at the same location.
No person shall knowingly cause or permit the flow of any watercourse, leat or drain on the Access Land to be obstructed or diverted or interfere with any sluice gate or similar apparatus on the Access Land.
(i) No person shall light or tend a fire on the Access Land, or place or throw or let fall a lighted match or any other thing so as to be likely to cause a fire.
(ii) This byelaw shall not prevent the use of a camping stove manufactured as a camping stove or cooker, provided it is used in such a manner as not to cause danger of or damage by fire.
(iii) The use of barbecues, including disposable barbecues whether manufactured as such or otherwise, is not permitted anywhere on the Access Land if it is used in such a manner as to cause fire, damage or harm to the land or vegetation or when the Fire Severity Index reaches High or at other such times when directed by signs.
(iv) No person shall gather any material from the Access Land to use as fuel for any fire.
(v) No person shall launch Chinese Lanterns, fireworks or flares from the Access Land.
(i) No person in charge of any dog shall permit any dog to disturb or worry any stock or wildlife, or cause any nuisance or annoyance to any person on the Access Land.
(ii) No person in charge of any dog shall cause or allow a dog to be exercised other than under close control and, if directed to do so by a Ranger, must keep any dog on a lead.
(iii) Between 1 March and 31 July each year all dogs have to be kept on a short lead of no more than 2 metres in length.
(iv) No single person shall bring more than 6 dogs on to the Access Land at any one time.
“Dog” shall exclude police dogs, search and rescue dogs, guide or assistance dogs and any dog that is working on the Access Land with the consent of the landowner.
11 Feeding of animals
No person other than the owner of any animal or the owner’s authorised agent shall feed or permit to be fed any animal lawfully grazing on the Access Land.
No person shall ride, train or exercise racehorses on the Access Land unless the owner of the land and the Authority has given written permission.
13 Protection of wildlife
No person shall without lawful excuse or authority:
(i) intentionally or recklessly take, kill, injure or disturb any wild animal, bird or fish; intentionally or recklessly take, damage or destroy any eggs or nests.
(ii) engage in any operations of or connected with hunting, shooting, fishing, trapping, snaring, taking or destroying of animals, birds or fish or have with them any engine, instrument or apparatus used for hunting, shooting, fishing, trapping, snaring, taking or destroying animals, birds or fish.
14 Firearms and projectiles
No person shall:
(i) discharge on the Access Land without lawful authority any firearm, air weapon or crossbow;
(ii) release any projectile or throw any missile on the Access Land to the danger of any other person or so as to give reasonable grounds for annoyance; or
(iii) hit a golf ball or similar on any of the Access Land.
15 Damage to land
No person on the Access Land shall without reasonable excuse or lawful authority:
(i) break or damage any wall or fence on or enclosing the Access Land;
(ii) remove or displace any barrier, railing, post or seat, or any part of any erection or ornament, or any implement provided for use in the laying out or maintenance of the Access Land; or
(iii) remove from, displace or damage on the Access Land any vegetation, wood, soil, peat, dung or stones.
16 Metal detectors
No person shall on the Access Land use any device designed or adapted for detecting or locating any metal or mineral in the ground unless they have written permission from the owner of the land and the Authority.
17 Commercial activities
No person shall offer for sale or hire any goods or services on the Access Land in exchange for payment or reward unless he is authorised to do so in pursuance of an agreement with the owner of the land and the Authority.
18 Recreational activities
No person shall on the Access Land participate or engage in any activity which comprises over 50 people on foot, or 30 horses or cyclists, unless he is authorised to do so in pursuance of an agreement with the owner of the land and the Authority.
No person shall take off from or land upon the Access Land in an aircraft, helicopter, hang-glider, paraglider hot-air balloon or any other craft designed for manned flight (except in an emergency) unless he is authorised to do so by the owner of the land and the Authority.
20 Kites, model aircraft and drones
(i) No person shall fly a kite from or over the Access Land in such a manner as to give reasonable cause for annoyance to any other person or in such a manner as is likely to startle or disturb stock or wildlife on the land.
(ii) No person shall launch any model aircraft or drone from the Access Land unless authorised to do so by the owner of the land and the Authority.
(iii) No person shall operate any model aircraft or drone over the Access Land at a height or location that may disturb stock or wildlife or cause a nuisance to another person.
No person shall hold any rave, show, concert, exhibition or other entertainment on the Access Land unless authorised in writing by the owner of the land and the Authority.
22 Music and radios
No person shall play or operate or knowingly cause or permit to be played or operated any musical instrument, radio, television set, record, CD, DVD, cassette player, amplifier or smart speaker using an internet or mobile phone connection, or similar appliance in such a manner as to give reasonable cause for annoyance to another person on the Access Land.
No person shall on the Access Land:
(i) intentionally obstruct any Ranger or other officer of the Authority in the proper execution of their duties;
(ii) intentionally obstruct any person carrying out an act which is necessary to the proper execution of any contract with the Authority;
(iii) intentionally obstruct any other person in the proper use of the Access Land, or behave so as to give reasonable grounds for annoyance to other persons on the access land; or
(iv) fail to follow an instruction by a Ranger or officer of the Authority acting within their authority.
Any person who offends against any of these Byelaws shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine on level 2 on the Standard Scale and in the case of a continuing offence to a further fine for each day during which the offence continues after the said conviction.
Schedule 1 (as at October 2021)
Land within the Dartmoor National Park to which the public has access by virtue of the Authority having an interest in that land.
Land owned by the Authority
- Dendles Waste Wood, Cornwood
- East Park Copse
- Gallant Le Bower, Holne
- Huntingpark Wood, Moretonhampstead
- Sanduck Wood, Moretonhampstead
- Steward Wood
- Wray Cleave, Moretonhampstead
- Whiddon Scrubbs, Ashburton
- White Wood, Holne
- Casely Wood, Lustleigh
- Castor Copse, Lustleigh
- Holne Bridge Woodland, Ashburton
Visitor Centres and car parks
- Haytor Visitor Centre & Coach Park
- Station Road Car Park, Princetown
- Postbridge Visitor Centre car park and picnic area
- Car Park at Brentor, Tavistock
- Car Park at Foggintor Merrivale,
- Car Park at Lane End, Peter Tavy
- Car Park at Lydford, Okehampton
- Car Park at Meldon, Okehampton
- Car Park at Shapley Common, Postbridge
- Car Park at Shipley Bridge, South Brent
Land Under Management or Access Agreement
- Archerton path
- Brent Hill North x 3
- Brent Hill South x 2
- Brent Tor Access
- Combestone Farm
- Fices Well path
- Hanger Down
- Longtimber Tor
- Newbridge path (1 and 2)
- Parklands Farm
- Scorriton Down
- Standon Steps
- Spinsters Rock
- Templer Way - Yarner Estate
- Templer Way – Ullacombe
- Templer Way Colehayes