Open Spaces Society to Intervene in DNPA Case

June 20, 2023 |

May 2023 –

We are thrilled by the news that the Open Spaces Society will be joining forces with the Dartmoor National Park Authority to defend the right to backpack camp on Dartmoor.

The Court of Appeal has officially granted the Open Spaces Society the opportunity to intervene in the Dartmoor backpack camping case in support for the Dartmoor National Park Authority.

For an astounding 158 years, the Open Spaces Society has been tirelessly defending the common land of England and Wales, as well as the rights of public access. Drawing from their extensive experience with laws concerning common land and public access rights, they will bring invaluable insights to this case.

With their rich history and extensive knowledge of commons law, the Open Spaces Society is in a prime position to provide invaluable assistance in this case. They express their immense gratitude to the trio of barristers, Richard Honey KC, Ned Westaway, and Esther Drabkin-Reiter, of Francis Taylor Building, who have generously offered to act pro bono, as well as the dedicated team from Richard Buxton Solicitors.

In the words of Kate Ashbrook, the society’s general secretary: “We are pleased to assist the Dartmoor National Park Authority in this important case. We firmly believe, based on legal precedent, that there is a right to backpack camp on Dartmoor, which is all part of the right to walk and ride conferred by the Dartmoor Commons Act 1985.”

Today marks another huge milestone as organisations and individuals on both a local and national level continue to contribute towards the preservation of rights-based access on Dartmoor.

Mark your calendars! The appeal will be heard by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal on 18 July 2023. Stay tuned as we continue to work alongside our allies for protection and fair access to the wild open spaces of Dartmoor.