THE Dartmoor National Park Authority wants to appeal against the High Court judgment on wild camping.

This was decided at a meeting of the authority today, Friday.

Members have agreed to:

• Seek permission to appeal the High Court judgment

• Endorse the new permissive system, agreed in principle with the Dartmoor Commons’ Owners Association

• Investigate which areas of common land owned by the Authority could be opened up to backpack camping

• Pause work on the byelaw review so the implications of High Court judgment can be fully considered.

Speaking after the meeting, Dartmoor National Park Authority Chief Executive Dr Kevin Bishop said: ‘We are grateful to the common landowners, including Mr and Mrs Darwall, who moved at speed to positively support the permissive system for backpack camping.

‘The High Court judgment raises important issues of public interest that are central to the purpose of our National Parks. For this reason, the Authority has determined to seek permission to appeal the judgment.

‘Our National Parks are largely owned by private individuals, and we respect their rights. However, our National Parks were designated by Parliament for their national importance.

‘They have twin purposes: to protect and conserve and to provide opportunities for all parts of society to responsibly enjoy them.

‘When the legislation to establish National Parks was introduced it was described as a people’s charter – a people’s charter for the open air, for the hikers and the ramblers, for everyone who lives to get out into the open air and enjoy the countryside.

‘The High Court judgment potentially fetters that charter and seems contrary to the wishes of Parliament.

‘While we await determination of the application to appeal, and any subsequent appeal, we remain committed to working in partnership with landowners and other partners to ensure the new permissive system is successful.’