Caravan owners may be banned from staying overnight to ‘protect’ popular tourist hotspot

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Proposals have been made in Dartmoor which would see a ban on wild camping on certain parts of the area, as well as overnight stays in caravans and groups having barbecues. These activities could be banned as part of new restrictions to better protect Dartmoor National Park’s special qualities.

It also follows on from continued concerns about visitor behaviour over recent years.

The current set of byelaws regulating access on the commons have been in place since 1989, with some of them being out of date.

The byelaws are there to protect Dartmoor National Park’s wildlife, habitats, cultural heritage and archaeology.

Dartmoor National Park Authority members have agreed to draft proposals to review the byelaws to better reflect modern needs.

This includes improving public understanding and addressing issues which have the potential to damage the National Park’s special qualities.

The review starts from September 20, aims to ensure the byelaws are updated to be relevant to the area.

They also need to be clear and easy to understand, cover the right activities and areas and complement other powers and legislation.

One of the potential changes includes banning people without reasonable excuses to drive, ride or propel any mechanically or pedal propelled vehicle on any part of the Access Land, other than on a highway.

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Caravans are also set to be affected by the changes to the byelaws.

Between the hours of 9pm and 9am, no person shall occupy or sleep in any mechanically propelled vehicle, caravan or trailer on Access Land.

Drivers would also be restricted from parking any mechanically propelled vehicle on Access Land which could impede the flow of agricultural traffic or livestock.

Any person who offends against any of these byelaws shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine on level 2 on the Standard Scale (£1,000).

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