Following the updated government advice this week, we realise that after an extended period of lockdown, many of you will be looking forward to returning to Dartmoor and the other UK National Parks
We appreciate that those of us who live within areas such as Dartmoor are privileged to do so, particularly during the current crisis. We also recognise that National Parks are for everyone and that access to open spaces and nature is hugely important to physical and mental wellbeing and will form a key part of many people’s coping strategies for dealing with the crisis.
We also recognise however that our National Parks are places where people live and work, that rural communities have a large number of vulnerable and elderly residents and that public services and facilities – limited at the best of times – are currently significantly reduced.
For these reasons we’d like to offer the following (hopefully common-sense) advice:
- Whilst the current rules say that you can drive unlimited distances to access outside space, please consider carefully whether you should, particularly if you are travelling large distances from an area with a high level of infection rates.
- If you or any members of your household have any symptoms of the virus, or you have been in close contact with someone who has then please continue to follow current government advice regarding self isolation. Stay at home.
- Do not travel to remote rural areas to quarantine. Such areas often have a higher proportion of vulnerable, high-risk groups, have limited health resources, and local services are already at full stretch. Travel to second-homes is NOT permitted under the current rules.
- Practice safe social distancing. Only travel with members of your own household, avoid busy “honeypot” locations, and where possible use local knowledge to seek out quieter locations and routes where you can self-distance effectively.
- Drive with safety and consideration and always park responsibly to allow access for emergency vehicles, farmers and key-workers.
- Be self-sufficient. Bring what you need for the day, and, whilst restrictions are in place, avoid using local services and facilities as much as possible.
- Do not light fires or barbecues, and ensure that all litter is safely taken home.
- Keep dogs on leads at all times on open moorland and around livestock.
- Ensure that you are sufficiently prepared and equipped to not cause a danger to yourself or others. Carry a map and compass and ensure that you know how to use them.
- Check the weather forecast before your visit and ensure that any activities or routes you undertake are well within your abilities. Do not take unnecessary risks.
For further advice on visiting Dartmoor during current restrictions, please refer to the Dartmoor National Park website: