Pop-up Campsites

Pop-up Campsites

More people than ever are looking to experience Dartmoor and many are wanting to camp overnight.

Pop-up campsites will provide additional camping options for visitors and play a role in helping to reduce ‘fly camping’

What are pop-up campsites?

  • A pop-up campsite is a campsite that is temporary. It is usually a flat, accessible field that would not normally have any facilities
  • Without planning permissions, you can operate a small campsite that takes tents for 60 days of the year if you do not physically change the field. Any facilities provided need to be temporary and removed at the end of the season

I’m interested in providing a pop-up campsite, what do I need to think about?


You need to consider the location of your campsite. The best sites are locations that are in quiet areas and away from local communities or neighbours. The locations should not be on or near a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSI) or Special Area of Conservation (SAC) or historic monument/listed building.

Please check the Heritage Gateway and search by keyword or the map to find any recorded historic sites on your land or use  Natural England Designated Site Search for SSSI/SAC locations. These may need protecting from campsite visitors and vehicles.

If you are a tenant, you need to check your tenancy agreement to make sure your agreement doesn't exclude camping.

You should also check that any environmental agreements on your land do not prohibit camping and that any wildlife habitats or will not be disturbed by the campsite. You must also check that a change of use of land for more than 28 days does not a trigger a reduction in payments.


You will need to provide

  • Portable toilets
  • Handwashing station
  • Supply of water - If you have a private water supply that has not been certified for commercial and /or public use you should provide distilled water for your visitors. Most portable toilet companies can provide this for you.
  • You may need to consider putting down mats in field gateways if the weather is wet
  • Rubbish collection and removal – you will need to consider how rubbish collected from the site is collected and disposed of. You will need to arrange for this to be taken away by a commercial rubbish company or your local authority.

Risk Assessments and Insurance

You need to risk assess your site. You must consider the risks on your farm and how you can help campers to stay safe. Think about any information that you can provide for them via email or on a temporary notice board.

Insurance can usually be provided by the insurer who insures your land for public liability. There is usually an additional charge for this and it is advised that you make your insurers aware that you will be offering a pop up campsite.


Consultation is not required for your pop-up campsite. It is recommended that you discuss your plans with your nearest neighbours and local community, parish or town council.

You are required to notify the local planning authority in writing before the commencement of development each calendar year. In notifying the local planning authority, you must provide a copy of the site plan which includes details of the toilet and waste disposal facilities as well as the dates on which the campsite will be in use. Please fill in the below form and return it to planning@dartmoor.gov.uk.

Where the site is within Flood Zone 2 or 3, Prior Approval is required from the local planning authority each calendar year before commencement of development. You are required to submit a site-specific flood risk assessment, including a warning and evacuation plan.

Check if you are within Flood Zone 2 or 3 on the Flood map for planning.

Please fill out a Notification of Class B C - Temporary recreational campsite and return to planning@dartmoor.gov.uk.

Caravans and motor homes on pop-up campsites

This new legislation covers motor homes and campervans, but it does not permit caravans. Sites for caravans and campsites come under different rules. For a small site that takes less than five caravans or motorhomes you can apply to be a certificated location under various bodies.

Further information on becoming a certified location can be found on the Motor Caravanners Club or the Caravan Club.