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Thread: Wild camping in the Peak District

  1. #21
    Ultra King Jamie @ www.trekkingbritain.com's Avatar
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    I wonder if anyone from the National Park Authority looks on here and can give an official word on the wild camping situation in the Peak as I'd be interested to know where we would all stand on it as I've never actually seen an official statement or written rule on it?

  2. #22
    Widdler Carl Walters 2's Avatar
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    Jamie, couldn't agree more.

    Jan I'm not sure you're preaching to the converted, as for the listing I thought just starting out would be the correct place for we are just starting out..wild camping.

  3. #23
    Widdler Carl Walters 2's Avatar
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    Jamie, I don't know what offence you would commit other than a local bye-law. It can't be one of trespass unless you're on land where you shouldn't be. There are no time limits on the access to the land.
    Two scenarios to consider:
    1.A family going for a walk say in the Longshaw estate, first thing in the morning, putting down a blanket and sitting by the river all day, having some sandwhiches, or getting out a gas stove as they do, staying for the duration of the day and then driving home, having stayed there maybe 8-10hrs.
    2. The same family going for a walk, same location but this time they arrive as it's getting dark, and istead of sitting on a blanket they lie down in a bivvi bag, instead of playing in the river they sing songs, talk about the day have a good night drink of cocoa and sleep then wake up and drive home. Again maybe spending 8-10hrs.
    As we can see the onl difference is 1) is daylight ad 2) is dark.
    Comments anyone?

  4. #24
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    While there are no time limits strange things occur in law when you move from access to habitation and sleeping. Once you are deemed to be sleeping somewhere different rules often apply.

    It might be worth seeing:
    http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/crow-dodont

    which makes a point of saying that camping is not permitted but doesn't say who's responsible for making or enforcing this rule.

    I think that one thing that is worth remembering is that camping is not defined in the access of the Crow act and that all the land in the Peak District National Park is owned by someone.

    I worked as a trainee volunteer ranger in the peak district but don't feel qualified to give a definitive view as this was before the Crow act came into force, and i was unable to complete my training owing to ill health.

  5. #25
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    Ooo, I think I found something that might be useful:

    http://cms.countrysideaccess.gov.uk/.../phpnAQEei.pdf

  6. #26

  7. #27
    Guest
    And this is the Ramblers take on it:

    http://www.ramblers.org.uk/info/brit...s.html#Camping

  8. #28
    Widdler Carl Walters 2's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Jan, I have just had a read through all the links. One of the things I noted is the wording "erecting a tent". Now I know from my work experience (I have quite a bit of knowledge within the law and no i'm not a criminal) but a lot of court judgements are simply down to a play on words. If someone is sleeping, not in a tent, then they may not be defined as camping. As daft as it seems sometimes in rules of law it can be down to a dictionary definition of a word. If in my previous scenarios in the daytime, if you decided to have a couple of hours kip in the warm sunshine, would you be deemed to be camping? I think not.
    The offence of trespass is only punishable IF damage has been caused. Yes you may be asked to leave, and reasonable force can be used if you refuse, but if you are totally compliant then a verbal request is reasonable force.

    I noticed the following which is a straight lift from one of the links
    "In the Peak District, wild camping is discouraged in some areas and banned completely if the moors are very dry." I think the word here is "discouraged".

    I think I may have opened a can of worms on this thread, but still interesting to hear other peoples views.

  9. #29
    Widdler Carl Walters 2's Avatar
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    Further to the above, and i do not imply any racism in the following and do not intend anyone to read into it any racism.

    The "travelling community" pull up anywhere they want, park a caravan and set up camp for indefinite periods. They truly are making a temporary habitat (home, camping). Sometimes it is on private property and sometimes on council owned property. To get them moved off the land is now quite a lengthy process involving court orders. We have to tolerate this because they are protected by law "human rights", where's the difference if i want to sleep out under the stars for 1 or 2 nights away from anyones view. I won't be leaving loads of litter, empty gas bottles etc. I would be asked to move on straight away, they won't. What's the difference?

  10. #30
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    I do know that some of the area wardens and rangers don't object to bivvy'ing but they do camping. I think its to do with footprints (as in the marks left by tents) and that if people see one person doing it then they thinks its ok and before you know it loads of people are there (I think this is the biggest worry). Someone bivvy'ing is less visible and so not likely to attract others to the same area.

    I also know from experience in a different area that the fear of problem camping snowballing or camping snowballing to create a problem is very real.

    I passed the same spot (on the way to work) each weekend for some months. To start with there was one guy in a small tent one weekend - not doing anyone any harm. The next week there were three two man tents there - I guess they saw him and thought what a brilliant idea. A couple of weeks later there was at least six tents, one of them was one of these multi-room thingies. Within two months the place was trashed.

    Perhaps this is why in popular (and some would say over popular) areas such as the Peak park its so strongly discouraged?

  11. #31
    Widdler Carl Walters 2's Avatar
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    It's the same old story as with everything else Jan, the minority spoil it for the rest of us.
    What would be interesting though is to know how many readers have actually wild camped, regardless of where

    The challenge is on

    Have you wild camped in England? And if so which National Park?

  12. #32
    Ultra King Jamie @ www.trekkingbritain.com's Avatar
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    Twice on the Peak, once in The Lakes and I find the easiest has to be Snowdonia as its so wild compared to the others. Done a few in Scotland but up there it is legal of course.

    I think keeping the law there but not really following it and not prosecuting unless extremely necessary is the right way around it really. It means that the rangers and other authorities have the right to tell the wrong people to stop it and will use there own common sense to allow people like ourselves to do it and do it right and pitch as its going dark and leave before anyone has chance to see you or do it in a completely quiet place and leaving no marks.

  13. #33
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    With regards to the comments on travellers - have you ever tried to approach any of them?

    If the police won't approach them unless mob handed then there must be a reason (even if its often not at all warranted) perhaps one bad experience colours the views of all?

    Approaching a lone guy or even a couple of people in a tent is a bit different. WHen I did my training part of it was approaching groups of people - this included a set up practice peice with a group of supposedly drunk "youths" who had lit a fire and were playing a loud stereo and had used an axe to cut down the wood.

    We were to pretend we were responding to a complaint and that the person who made the complaint had just walked up to us and led us in the direction of these "youths".

    The upshot was that in this type of event you have to weigh up the possibility of personal safety in a possible confrontation situation. AND BACK OFF.

    When you backed off - the person that made the initial complain then haranged you and threatened to complain to the authority about you doing nothing. So you had to calm them down to. It made me realise that sometimes things are as simple as they seem.

    It was a scary experience even when you knew the "youths" were actually the Rangers providing the training and they were just acting.

    Have I wild camped - not if I can help it, I like to have a proper toilet and a shower thanks. I am planning a trip in the autumn which will include some wild camping but its in Scotland and there are no alternatives. Perhaps I am just a bit soft.


  14. #34
    Ultra King Jamie @ www.trekkingbritain.com's Avatar
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    Jan do you have a job to do today or are you just a fast typist? ;-)

  15. #35
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    I have walked quite a bit in the dark peak, but it was many years ago on 'DofE' so I can't remember where.

    I have to say I'd advise staying in an organised campsite the first time-maybe the one at Crowden? Also, a lot of the bits I've walked in would not be great for pitching a tent-v.v.boggy. Maybe that's just winter though.

    Also a lot of dark peak is watershed for reservoirs. Now I don't think the odd person wild camping does any harm (and I've never seen any in the areas I've been), but the reason it is probably prohibited aside from fire is that if lots of people wild camped could it could create problems. Its all a question of scale and depends upon how sensible people are about not going to the toilet near streams etc. (not very in my experience).

    Not much use, but enjoy your camping trip wherever you choose. I prefer the dark peak to white peak. It really is wild in parts.




  16. #36
    Initiate Lorraine's Avatar
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    As a Voluntary Ranger for the Lake District National Park. Although all wild camping in the Nat Park is unlawful, we tend to use our discretion when we come across people who are wild camping.

    If they have camped discreetly, say on the high fells away from everyone else, have pitched their tent late in the day and are intending to move on the next morning, then I leave them alone.

    However, if I discover a group like the one I came across last year in Ennerdale whilst I was out doing a patrol last summer, then I'd move them on. The group in question had completely taken over one of the lakeside picnic areas. Altogether there were 5 tents, 2 cars (which had obviously been driven down a restricted access road), and 8 or 9 people. I spotted them at 2 o'clock in the afternoon making their breakfast on a fire which they had built from collected boulders (despite the no fires warning in this heavily forrested valley). Haven't a clue how long they had been there, but judging by the rubbish and wine bottles laying around, they had been there for a couple of nights at least.


  17. #37
    ‹bermensch Cara-Lyn:  Stealth Sloth's Avatar
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    I've wild camped in the Peak a lot, but no tent, just a bivi, and not in summer with the longer days. When it gets dark early-ish, there's no problem with bivying when it's dark, then getting up with the sun and moving on. I never left any trace of my presence, and never had any hassle. TBH I don't think anyone ever saw me.
    The only time I WAS seen was when I nearly gave a fell runner a heart attack in the Lakes (near Great Moss, below Scafell) when I got up as he passed. My bivi site had been completely camouflaged, and he got a bit of a shock when I stood up out of the ground in front of him!!

  18. #38
    Widdler Medusan's Avatar
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    I am up with a Group in the Peak district on the first weekend of February - I am currently busy scanning my old copies of Trail mag looking for walks.

    Am looking at 10-12 miles a day

    Do any of you have any favourites that you would share ?

    Cheers.

  19. #39
    Ultra King Jamie @ www.trekkingbritain.com's Avatar
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    Lorraine I really like your view on the situation. Hate to sound patronising but its great to hear such common sense!

    I met a NT ranger ( when I say met, he actually rescued me at Fairholmes and drove me back to Glossop when I came off Bleaklow the wrong way in mist, Hero! ) last year and he had similar views, there are those who understand the leave no mark and keep it descrete idea and those who don't and its great that you guys don't let the uneducated minority spoil it for the rest of us!

    Cara I think in future you should leave a tiny flag to warn us of your chosen plot!

  20. #40
    Widdler Carl Walters 2's Avatar
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    Medusan,

    Don't know if this will be of any use butsome interesting walks here;
    http://www.snapthepeaks.co.uk/Walks/walks.htm

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