From Dartmoor National Park:
Visitors to Dartmoor National Park are being asked to continue being ‘careful, considerate and compassionate’ over the festive break so everyone can enjoy the special landscape.
Dartmoor National Park Authority is urging people to ensure their visit is safe, enjoyable and memorable by planning ahead, sticking to designated car parks and respecting access rights.
The call comes following complaints of vehicles causing obstructions and mountain bikers cycling on open moorland and common land – something which is not allowed.
There is an extensive network of quiet lanes and designated cycle routes on Dartmoor together with more than 350km of bridleways which mountain bikers can use.
It’s important people stick to designated routes so fragile habitats and wildlife do not suffer from permanent harm and damage.
Ranger Team Manager Simon Lee (pictured) said: “Responsible motorists and cyclists are very welcome on Dartmoor and we expect the National Park to be busy over the festive period as people look to enjoy the outdoors and stay fit and healthy. If you do use bridleways for cycling on Dartmoor, please be considerate towards others, including animals.”
- only cycle on the designated use cycle tracks and bridleways
- Give way to pedestrians and horse riders
- Slow down around horse riders, livestock and wild ponies
- Use a bell to alert others if you are approaching them from behind.
Simon added: “While Dartmoor is here to be enjoyed by everyone, parking alongside the sides of roads or in front of access gateways could put lives at risk.
“This has become problematic this year particularly Shipley Bridge, Two Bridges, New Bridge and the Yellowmeade Farm track towards Foggintor.
“Please do not park on soft verges or ground next to the road, in gateways or where access is needed. It causes huge inconvenience to farmers and emergency services who need access 24/7. It also impacts horse riders, walkers and cyclists who need to use gates to avoid cattle grids.
“There are designated areas to park which must be used and if they are full, then people must find other permitted places to park and not leave them in places where they pose a risk to others. Don’t park on roadsides even if you see other people doing it.
“The best thing you can do is plan your visit in advance, make sure you know where you can and cannot go and make every effort to minimise damage. That way, everyone can be assured of a memorable visit for all the right reasons.”
Rangers will be on patrol through the Christmas and New Year break ensuring people understand the rules. To help people stay safe during their visit, the National Park has outlined some simple guidance:
- Follow all Government guidance for local coronavirus restrictions.
- Brush up on the Countryside Code (including walking and driving on narrow roads)
- Keep dogs on a lead, take all litter home, and stick to designated footpaths/bridleways.
- Keep your driving speed down: be mindful of weather conditions and livestock which may be on or next to roads.
- Park in designated car parks and not in gateways or on soft ground.