|Below is a message from the Right to Roam campaign. |
Today the High Court ruled in favour of abolishing our right to wild camp on Dartmoor – Dartmoor was the only place in England where it was legal. Alexander Darwall, a multimillionaire estate owner based in south Dartmoor has used his wealth to remove a right enjoyed by us all: contesting a byelaw from the 1980s which simply acknowledged the long established practice of sleeping under the stars in the National Park. This is a very real example of how, if we don’t fight for our right to access nature, it will be stripped away. Darwall is just another in a long line of powerful landowners who use their arbitrary ownership of the land to exclude us, the public, from the countryside. Right to Roam is launching a full fight back against this outrageous decision. The Right to Roam is more than walking. Our right to belong in the countryside is our right to forge a deep connection with nature and land. Wild camping is pitching a tent when your body is tired and allowing the landscape to hold you where you belong, it’s learning about yourself and nature and it’s being inspired by looking up at the cosmos like we have done for millennia. Losing the last place to freely camp in England is significant and this ruling is a reminder of why we fight.
We will not back down. We will not let Darwall’s entitled, misanthropic behaviour destroy the only remaining scrap of land where we are permitted to sleep freely under the sky. We’re going to war. And we need your help. First, DONATE TO THE RIGHT TO ROAM WAR CHEST: [Donate here]
We’re up against some of the richest people in the country and we need all the resources we can to take them down. You’ll be contributing not just to defending our right to camp on Dartmoor but our campaign to access nature freely and responsibly across all of England. Second, JOIN US IN DARTMOOR ON JANUARY 21ST for the first of many acts of defiance against this assault on our freedom: [Book here]
We’ll be marching on Mr Darwall’s land to raise the spirit of Old Crockern, the ancient protector of Dartmoor who rises when the moor is threatened, and when greed abounds! The event is free, but it’s good to get an idea on numbers, so follow the link above to register.
For more info see: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/landowner-extinguishes-the-right-to-wild-camp-on-dartmoor and https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/15/something-beautiful-has-been-taken-away-campaigners-vow-to-fight-ban-on-dartmoor-camping