THE Right to Roam group has given its full support to the Dartmoor National Park Authority’s bid to appeal against the High Court’s wild camping judgment.
Right to Roam is delighted that the Dartmoor National Park Authority has agreed unanimously to seek leave to appeal against the High Court judgment of January 13; this ruled that there is no right to wild (backpack) camping on the Dartmoor commons.
Commenting on the decision by Dartmoor National Park Authority to seek leave to appeal the recent court judgment on camping on Dartmoor, Lewis Winks from Right to Roam said: ‘We are delighted that Dartmoor National Park Authority has made the brave decision to seek to leave to appeal the court judgement that recently removed people’s right to wild camp on Dartmoor without permission.
‘We understand the difficult position this issue has put the Park Authority in, on the one hand having to represent public interest, but on the other hand being held to ransom by a small group of Dartmoor landowners.
‘So we applaud the members and officers for doing the right thing by listening to and representing the many thousands of people that have been outraged by having their traditional rights removed.
‘And this is just the beginning. This debacle over camping in Dartmoor has totally reinvigorated the right to roam movement in England.
‘Three thousand people attended the protest walk on Dartmoor last weekend, and there’s a huge appetite now to carry on and keep up the pressure to bring in the change that is needed to guarantee we all have equal access to open space and nature.
‘We hope that ultimately this will lead to new legislation that will enshrine in law the access to open space and nature that is so needed.
‘For this reason we welcome the Labour party's announcement today that they will introduce a Right to Roam Act should they come to power. Similarly it’s great to see the Lib Dems saying the same thing.’