A New Right to Roam Act

Looking at the history of the recent legal judgement on ‘wild camping’, thankfully it does not, strictly speaking, create a ‘ban’ on wild camping as such.

What it does, from a strictly legal point of view, is say that there is not an ‘automatic’ right to wild camp.  This all revolves around, in strict legal terms, a requirement to seek permission first.

As I understand it, there have been many areas already identified by the Dartmoor National Park Authority (DPNA) as places where they give explicit permission to wild camp.

Looking at the legal judgment, the judge did say something that I, and probably many others would not agree with.  That is, that the public have a right of access to Dartmoor for open-air recreation, but that camping was seen as ‘a facility to enable the person in question to enjoy the open-air recreation of hiking.’ In other words, just an enabler, not a right.

According to the letter of the law, this may be true, but it means in practice that hikes would then have to be restricted.

Thus, there needs to be a new law which makes it absolutely clear that wild camping is unrestricted in our natural countryside. 

And a new right to roam act would be the perfect vehicle, and I would fully support that.