No, it’s not any of the Devon Tory MPs. – Owl
The MP for Tiverton and Honiton, Richard Foord, is calling for the Government to safeguard people’s right to use Dartmoor for wild camping.
Philippa Davies www.midweekherald.co.uk
A recent High Court judgement ruled that individual Dartmoor landowners have the right to remove people from land they own within the National Park. There has been growing concern about how this will be enforced and the implications it would have.
Mr Foord says many local residents have contacted him to express their anger and concern. Many fear that this will undermine the South West’s tourist trade and affect events that rely on Dartmoor for training, such as the Ten Tors Challenge and the Duke of Edinburgh award – both of which are undertaken by schools in East Devon.
He has tabled a motion in Parliament celebrating the success of the Ten Tors challenge and calling on the Government to bring forward new legislation that would guarantee the continued right to camp on Dartmoor. He is asking other MPs across the area to back his motion.
Mr Foord said: “Dartmoor is an amazing place. It is one of the few areas in England where you can cut away from the noise of 21st century life and get lost in nature. Spending the night on Dartmoor allows you to properly switch off from the sound and fury of modern life.
“The recent ruling means that our right to pitch a tent is now at risk of being brought to an end by wealthy landowners. It should not be the case that vast tracts of our National Park are effectively fenced off to the public.
“So many people have been in touch with me to express their anger at the ruling and concern about how our green spaces are to be used. Dartmoor is a place for rest, recuperation and healing, and it should stay that way.
“The Conservative Government must act on this. So far, they have failed to respond to the ruling or even bring forward a statement on the issue. This indifference is damning, and it is angering communities across the South West.”