Wild camping on Dartmoor – what next?

West Devon Dartmoor scenery Photo by Lewis Clarke Wikimedia Commons

The judge’s decision on the right to wild camp on Dartmoor has cause upset and outrage amongst walker, climbers, nature-lovers and Dartmoor-lovers from across the country. On Saturday, people will be coming together to protest the verdict. We predict that this will be a very big event indeed and we will be there. You must register in order to get details of logistics nearer the day! As you may imagine, the interest level means the organisers have quite a challenge on their hands.

Has Alexander Darwall, fund manager and donor to the Brexit Party, the Leave campaign and Totnes MP Anthony Mangnall won? We shall see. Please read this article by Hugh Craddock:

And this by George Monbiot:

On the court ruling that terminates wild camping rights on Dartmoor:
This is how land rights have been seized for centuries. Because the written title didn’t precisely specify these rights, they are deemed not to exist, though they are long practised and commonly understood.

From Scotland to Australia, this is the way people were dispossessed: you may think you have a right to the land, but without a written title, recognised in laws created by possessive and imperial power, that right, however longstanding, is deemed not to exist.

The court action terminating them was a classic enclosers’ move, deploying a (highly tendentious) interpretation of statute law to shut down common rights. It is the law of the powerful deployed against the powerless, of the haves against the have nots.

Such legal moves are the tool of coercive power, the age-old instrument of inequality, feudalism and colonialism. This case shows how shallowly democracy is rooted in the UK – and especially in the countryside. The old power still holds sway.

Originally tweeted by George Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot) on 15/01/2023.

And Guy Shrubsole:

Thank you @JimfromOldham @alexsobel for speaking out for a greater Right to Roam in England, and for vowing to raise the Dartmoor wild camping case in parliament next week

Keen to also see @AnthonyMangnal1’s response

Originally tweeted by Guy Shrubsole (@guyshrubsole) on 15/01/2023.

And from Right to Roam:

And Robert Macfarlane:

Maybe see you there?