Consultation on draft revisions to Dartmoor’s byelaws

Laura White
Laura White

Dartmoor National Park Authority recently agreed draft proposals to review Dartmoor’s byelaws.

There will now be a public consultation to start week beginning 20th September

The byelaws are in place to protect the special qualities of Dartmoor National Park including its wildlife, habitats, cultural heritage, archaeology, and the livestock that graze the commons.

The current set of byelaws regulating access on the commons has been in place since 1989.

They are now 32 years old and in that time there have been legal, practical, technological and societal developments.

The byelaws need updating to better reflect modern needs, improve public understanding and address issues which have the potential to damage the National Park’s special qualities.

The review aims to ensure the byelaws are updated to be:

• relevant and proportionate for modern society;
• clear and easy to understand;
• covering the right activities and areas;
• complementary to other powers and legislation.

The Authority’s Director of Conservation and Communities Alison Kohler said: “The Authority has agreed to consult on revisions to the National Park byelaws.

‘We are doing this to ensure the byelaws are fit for purpose and help protect the National Park for all to enjoy today and tomorrow.

‘Updating the byelaws is an important topic for everyone who cares about Dartmoor, whether it’s landowners, commoners, residents, businesses or visitors, and we recognise people will want to have a say.

‘Following Authority agreement, a draft set of byelaws will go out to public consultation from the week beginning 20th September. We’re keen to hear a diverse range of views so we can develop byelaws that are relevant, clear, enforceable and enable people to enjoy Dartmoor, help look after it and ‘leave no trace’.” (

The consultation will be publicised on the National Park’s website ( , social media and by news release.

People can subscribe to receive newsletters ( to stay updated. The consultation will remain open for six weeks.

The following step is that the Authority will meet again to consider responses, agree appropriate changes and formally approve the byelaws. They’ll then be sent to Defra for final confirmation.

The agenda and reports for recent and pending Authority meetings are on the website (

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