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News Report

Dartmoor National Park Byelaw Review



PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE AMENDMENT OF BYELAWS AT DARTMOOR NATIONAL PARK

Amendments are highlighted in bold; the comparison table (see DNPA website for further details) shows further detail on the current byelaws and the proposed revisions.
1.  INTERPRETATION
In the construction of these byelaws “the Authority” means Dartmoor National Park Authority and “Access Land” shall be land:

(i) defined as “the commons” in Section 2 of the Dartmoor Commons Act 1985; and/or

(ii)  defined as “access land” in Section 1(1) and Section 16 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000; and/or

(iii)  land within the Dartmoor National Park to which the public has access by virtue of the Authority having an interest in that land and which is more particularly identified in Schedule 1 to these byelaws.

Do you have any comments on amendment ii in relation to the designated areas within which the Byelaws would apply?

We have concerns that the inclusion of CRoW land within the DNPA bylaws would give additional powers to the public, including the right to ride a horse over CRoW land. 
We recognise that the inclusion of CRoW land under the proposed bylaws will empower the DNPA Rangers to challenge those that camp in these areas, as under current legislation only the land owner can challenge anyone camping on the land.
Whilst we welcome the Rangers being empowered to remove campers,  as land owners, we want to ensure that the land owners powers are retained and we would therefore suggest that CRoW land is not included in the first section to blanket cover all the numbered regulations but for the inclusion of CRoW land under the specific areas of concern, such as camping, vehicles, parking and dog control.
 

2. EXTENT
Nothing in these byelaws shall apply to:

(i) any act done in pursuance of the exercise of any right of common

(ii) the owner of any part of the Access Land as respects any act done on that part by him or by any person acting with his consent and the consent of the Authority where necessary to accord with Byelaw 12, 7(i), 16, 17, 18, 19 (ii) 20
Do you have any comments on the amendments relating to the extent of the byelaws?

We do not consider the requirement for additional written consent from the DNPA is necessary for the numbered bylaws. We have concerns that CRoW land and opportunities available to the owners of that land must be retained solely by the owners.  Owners want to stay in control of their CRoW land.
As a visitor looking at a map and understanding the difference in the regulations between CR0W and Access land, it is not clear as to the permissions, if it is not clear, then misinterpretation is frequent. . There needs to be clarity on whether the DNPA can overrule and prevent something that a land owner wants to do under the numbered byelaws stated: Or vice versa, as to whether DNPA can give permission for something that the owner does not want to happen.  So basically clarification is needed on whether only one party has the power to prevent something from happening.

3. BYELAW 4 VEHICLES
No person shall without reasonable excuse drive, ride or propel any mechanically propelled vehicle or any pedal propelled vehicle on any part of the Access Land other than on a highway where there is a right of way for that class of vehicle.

Do you agree with the amendments relating to the byelaws on the use of vehicles?

We are pleased that provision has been made for e-bikes, but we would like to see better enforcement on cycling off of the bridal paths.   Although covering Dartmoor in signs is highly undesirable, these Bylaws are no use unless people know what they are, and signs are pretty much the only way of ensuring that.  We feel that signs would be more effective and less unwelcoming if they gave advice and information rather than just forbidding things.

We would like to see relevant information displayed at cycle shops & cycle hire venues and other places where visitors may stop off at when visiting the moor, such as local cafes.

4. BYELAW 5 PARKING
(i) the parking of a vehicle is not permitted on those verges where the Authority has erected signs indicating that parking off the highway at those points is prohibited.

Do you agree with the amendment i relating to the byelaws on the parking of vehicles?

We agree but we have the following caveats:
We recognise that people do not know what they can and cannot do unless they are told and guidance as to where they can and cannot park is useful. 
However, this needs to be made clearer as we feel it suggests that people cannot not park where it is signed, but can park everywhere else?
We are hesitant about the number of signs that would be required and if these would be permanent or movable signs?

5. BYELAW 5 PARKING
(iii) Between the hours of 9pm and 9am no person shall occupy or sleep in any mechanically propelled vehicle, caravan or trailer parked on Access Land.

Do you agree with the amendment iii relating to the byelaws on the parking of vehicles?

We agree to the clause, but with the following caveats:
We would like to see the DNPA permit camping sites for camper vans in fields owned by farmers to help alleviate problems.
We appreciate that the timings are so that the Rangers can police this; however the Dark Skies selling point of the DNPA does not fit with this clause.
Permitting as in the issuing of a permit would be useful; it would enable the monitoring of what, where and when.
As always, difficult to enforce as the occupants just need to claim they have been drinking and therefore cannot drive.

6. BYELAW 5 PARKING
(iv) No person shall park any mechanically propelled vehicle on Access Land in such a manner as to impede the flow of agricultural traffic or livestock, to block (in whole or part) gateways or cattle grid side gate entrances that are not on the highway.

Do you agree with the amendment iv relating to the byelaws on the parking of vehicles?

We agree with this in principle, as where this does occur it has a significant economic impact on rural businesses where access has been restricted due to bad parking.  Enforcement of vehicle removal needs to be enabled.

7.  BYELAW 7 CAMPING
(i) Camping is only permitted in single person bivouacs or in tents that sleep no more than 3 people and can be carried in a backpack and in groups of no more than 6 people; This byelaw does not apply to agreed expeditions who have written permission from the owner of the land and the Authority

Do you agree with the amendment i relating to the byelaws on camping?

We agree in principle, but would like to see this simplified, rather than specific to the number who can sleep in a tent and the number in the group, suggest stating only a small tent or one-man tent and no large groups in excess of a number.

8.  BYELAW 7 CAMPING
(ii) No person shall erect or use any tent, hammock, tarpaulin or other temporary structure that requires support by cords or bands placed on trees

Do you agree with the amendment ii relating to the byelaws on camping?

We support this byelaw.

9.  BYELAW 7 CAMPING
(iii) Camping is only permitted in the areas as detailed in the Camping Map which shall be (1) published on the Authority’s website and (2) available for inspection at the Dartmoor National Park visitor centres and at the headquarters of the Authority and (3) amended from time to time after approval by the National Park Authority at a public meeting

Do you agree with the amendment iii relating to the byelaws on camping?

If this is the way to go, then the map needs to be freely available.  It would be appropriate to have it printed at key access points to the moor – Ivybridge being one such place and Okehampton another.  Not all camping parties will call into a visitor centre, so publication of the map is essential, at a suitable scale, backed up by signs.
It would be beneficial to ensure that there are areas for visitors to camp and that not whole commons are restricted.  There would be a better response if smaller areas were designated as no camping zones with specific reasons identified so the public can understand the restrictions.

The old byelaws gave clear instructions and any visitor would not need to consult a map, but would have recognised the rules of camping near homesteads, roads, water, etc.  There is a risk that if the map is over complicated, then it will not be enforceable and the public will not comply.

Where an owner has the power to prevent camping, it should be in consultation with other parties.

The suggestion that the camping map can be amended from time to time after approval by the National Park at an Authority meeting is wrong.  It should be after consultation with local people including the land owner.

We would suggest that the Authority work with land owners to ensure we can provide alternative facilities on adjoining land and are not hindered by planning restrictions.

10. BYELAW 9 FIRES
(i) No person shall light or tend a fire on the Access Land, or place or throw or let fall a lighted match or any other thing so as to be likely to cause a fire

Do you agree with the amendment i relating to the byelaws on the use of fires?

We understand the reason to include the word tend. 

11. BYELAW 9 FIRES
(iii)The use of barbecues, including disposable barbecues whether manufactured as such or otherwise, is not permitted anywhere on the Access Land if it is used in such a manner as  to cause fire, damage or harm to the land or vegetation   or when the Fire Severity Index reaches High or at other such times when directed by signs

Do you agree with the amendment iii relating to the byelaws on the use of fires?

Do not think this is worded very clearly as it suggests that there is a requirement to wait for a sign to be put up somewhere on the moor for it to be valid.

We have concerns of the use of the Fire Severity Index and we consider it would be more appropriate to use a Fire Risk Index or worded to include  'in dry periods'.

12. BYELAW 9 FIRES
(iv) No person shall gather any material from the Access Land to use as fuel for any fire

Do you agree with the amendment iv relating to the byelaws on the use of fires?

Whilst we agree in principle, we feel there will be a loss of opportunities to participate in outdoor cooking as part of a life experience for many young people. We would want the Authority to ensure we do not prevent such life experiences and to provide opportunities for alternative sites.

13. BYELAW 9 FIRES
(v) No person shall launch Chinese Lanterns, fireworks or flares from the Access Land

 Do you agree with the amendment v relating to the byelaws on the use of fires?

We are pleased to see the inclusion of Chinese Lanterns, but how will this be enforced?

14. BYELAW 10 DOGS
(iii)  Between 1 March and 31 July each year all dogs have to be kept on a short lead of no more than 2 metres in length

Do you agree with the amendment iii relating to the byelaws on dogs?

Would question why the length of the lead needs to be determined.  Some dogs are under complete control without the lead.  To be pedantic, does it need to say held by a person?

15. BYELAW 10 DOGS
(iv) No single person shall bring more than 6 dogs on to the Access Land at any one time

Do you agree with the amendment iv relating to the byelaws on dogs?

We strongly disagree with the number specified and consider it should be less than six and propose a maximum of three.

16. BYELAW 11 FEEDING OF ANIMALS
No person other than the owner of any animal or the owner’s authorised agent shall feed or permit to be fed any animal lawfully grazing on the Access Land.

Do you agree with the amendments relating to the byelaws on the feeding of animals?

We agree with the proposal, but we consider it is necessary to better inform the public that all animals on Access land are owned and looked after.  We need to ensure the public are aware that feeding them is dangerous to the animal and will do them more harm.

17. BYELAW 12 RACEHORSES
No person shall ride, train or exercise racehorses on the Access Land unless the owner of the land and the Authority has given written permission

Do you agree with the amendments relating to the byelaws on racehorses?

We consider that by specifying racehorse, we are not recognising the potential damage done by horses.  We do not want to prevent riding of horses per se, but where there is a commercial activity and or the same routes are used, we would like to see some control. 

Considering the impact if CRoW land was included, it would not be appropriate for the requirement of written permission of the Authority for an action of a land owner under this byelaw.

18. BYELAW 13 PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE
No person shall without lawful excuse or authority:

(i) intentionally or recklessly take, kill, injure or disturb any wild  animal, bird or fish; intentionally or recklessly take, damage or destroy any eggs or nests

Do you agree with the amendment i relating to the byelaws on the protection of wildlife?

We would like to see this byelaw to include the protection of  'livestock'.

The wording of this section is very strong, in contrast with the wording under the dog’s section.  It was considered that the dogs section needs to have strong wording like this.

19. BYELAW 13 PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE
(ii) engage in any operations of or connected with hunting, shooting, fishing, trapping, snaring, taking or destroying of animals, birds or fish or have with them any engine, instrument or apparatus used for hunting, shooting, fishing, trapping, snaring, taking or destroying animals, birds or fish

Do you agree with the amendment ii relating to the byelaws on the protection of wildlife?

We would like the byelaw to offer the same protection to livestock.

 20. BYELAW 14 FIREARMS AND PROJECTILES
 No person shall:

(iii) hit a golf ball or similar on any of the Access Land

Do you agree with the amendment iii relating to the byelaws on the use of firearms  and projectiles?
 No comments

  21. BYELAW 15 DAMAGE TO LAND
No person on the Access Land shall without reasonable excuse or lawful authority:

(i) break or damage any wall or fence on or enclosing the Access Land

Do you agree with the amendment I relating to the byelaws on damage to land?

As the enclosures adjoining the access land are more often than not privately owned, can the DNPA make this regulation for private property?
We recognise that the byelaw aims to prevent the loss of material from many of the stone walls on parts of Dartmoor, but we would question whether the enclosures adjoining the access land that are more often than not privately owned, come under this byelaw?

22. BYELAW 15 DAMAGE TO LAND
(iii) remove from, displace or damage on the Access Land any vegetation, wood, soil, peat, dung or stones

Do you agree with the amendment iii relating to the byelaws on damage to land?

 No comments

23. BYELAW 17 COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES
No person shall offer for sale or hire any goods or services on the Access Land in exchange for payment or reward unless he is authorised to do so in pursuance of an agreement with the owner of the land and the Authority

Do you agree with the amendments relating to the byelaws on the carrying out of commercial activities?

We do  have concerns about this being implemented on CRoW access land and would refer back to the comments made under section 2, Extent.

24. BYELAW 18 RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES (NEW BYELAW)
No person shall on the Access Land participate or engage in any activity which comprises over 50 people on foot, or 30 horses or cyclists, unless he is authorised to do so in pursuance of an agreement with the owner of the land and the Authority

Do you agree with the amendments relating to the byelaws on recreational activities?

We would like to see the following:
Heat map of events should be made available.
No night recreation events permitted.
Would like to see a cap on the number of events in a year and number of participants per event and the heat map is used to ensure no areas are frequented as to cause damage.

25. BYELAW 20 KITES, MODEL AIRCRAFT AND DRONES
(ii) No person shall launch any model aircraft or drone from the Access Land unless authorised to do so by the owner of the land and the Authority

Do you agree with the amendment ii relating to the byelaws on the use of kites, model aircraft and remotely piloted/unmanned air systems?

We do  have concerns about this being implemented on CRoW access land and would refer back to the comments made under section 2, Extent.

We must also make provision for new technologies as they are made available and be ready to embrace change.

We also question of the ability of restricting children flying kites.  We would like to see a clause to permit flying of small kites.

26. BYELAW 20 KITES, MODEL AIRCRAFT AND DRONES
(iii) No person shall operate any model aircraft or drone over the Access Land at a height or location that may disturb stock or wildlife or cause a nuisance to another person

Do you agree with the amendment iii relating to the byelaws on the use of kites, model aircraft and remotely piloted/unmanned air systems?

No comment

27. BYELAW 21 ENTERTAINMENTS
No person shall hold any rave, show, concert, exhibition or other entertainment on the Access Land unless authorised in writing by the owner of the land and the Authority.

Do you agree with the amendments relating to the byelaws on entertainments?

We do  have concerns about this being implemented on CRoW access land and would refer back to the comments made under section 2, Extent.

28. BYELAW 22 MUSIC AND RADIOS
No person shall play or operate or knowingly cause or permit to be played or operated any musical instrument, radio, television set, record, CD, DVD player, amplifier or smart speaker using an internet or mobile connection, or similar appliance in such a manner as to give reasonable cause for annoyance to another person on the Access Land

Do you agree with the amendments relating to the byelaws on music and radios?

We would want to see some moderation in the implementation of this byelaw and to ensure that the public can enjoy  themselves, but not impact on other people.

29. BYELAW 23 RANGERS
No person shall on the Access Land:

(iv) fail to follow an instruction by a Ranger or officer of the Authority acting within their authority

Do you agree with the amendment iv relating to the byelaws on DNPA Rangers?

We support this byelaw.

30. BYELAW 24 PENALTY
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 and in the case of a continuing offence to a further fine for each day during which the offence continues after the said conviction.

Do you agree with the amendments relating to the byelaws on the penalties for the breaching of byelaws?

We agree with this byelaw, however we are concerned with the area of implementation and would ask the following:

Define Dartmoor and the areas where the byelaws apply and for the general public to understand that ‘Dartmoor’ is not every part of land that is the right side of a DNPA sign – private land, CRoW land and Moorland need identifying and explaining.


* 31. Do you have any additional comments relating to the amendments of the Byelaws?

Define Dartmoor, as said above, please make sure that visitors know where these byelaws apply.

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Last updated 12th November 2021