The charity Dartmoor Preservation Association has launched an official fundraiser, to help Dartmoor National Park Authority to appeal the recent 'backpack camping ban'.
A spokesperson for the association said: 'The Dartmoor Preservation Association is backing Dartmoor National Park Authority as the official focus for donations in its appeal against a ban on backpack camping. We wish to see a rights-based not a permission-based system on Dartmoor.
'How are we helping? We are acting as the focus for donations which we will intend to transfer these to the national park to offset the legal costs of an appeal. The original case will have cost the National Park around £100,000 to give you an idea of scale.
'By donating via DPA you can be assured that we, as a long-standing registered charity, will act appropriately and clearly with the funds donated to us.'
The donations will be used to fund the National Park Authority's appeal against the backpack camping ban. It's still unknown as to how much the appeal will cost.
DPA continued: 'We have a properly establish board of Trustees and permanent staff. We are regulated by the Charity Commission and answerable to HMRC, Companies House and our many members.
'Our legally binding constitution requires us to use our resources only on activities that benefit Dartmoor, specifically: Public Access and Conservation of archaeological sites, cultural heritage and natural history.
'We will never use these donations to fund our own operating costs. All donations will go to support and appeal and other Dartmoor access benefits.'
Any excess donations will be used to support access activities on the Dartmoor aimed at youth groups and young people. These include: Moor Boots (a project to provide, for free, proper footwear and camping equipment to underprivileged children), 'Nights Under the Stars' (NUTS - A project giving children time, funds and resources to spend a day on a Dartmoor farm and a camping night out for the first time), year 7 'discovery sessions' and 'Girls do Dartmoor', creating safe and open spaces for young women to experience the outdoors together.
The purpose of these projects is to foster a life-long love of Dartmoor. To give people the skills to access the moor responsibly and build respect for the landscape, its people and the many ways it is used, enjoyed and worked in.
Tom Usher, CEO of the Dartmoor Preservation Association, said: 'We are determined to support the National Park in its appeal, access to nature is a right, not something granted by permission. Leave-no-trace backpack camping is a wonderful experience. Events like TenTors and DoE establish a life-long love of adventure in young people that is being threatened by this ban
'We fear this judgement is the beginning of a permission-based system on Dartmoor. It has set a precedent for permission being required of other activities in the future; put-ins for kayaks, commercial walking groups, climbing clubs, and the many other sole-trader businesses that ring the moor and rely on tourism and free access.”
'Backpack-camping has a long-established tradition on Dartmoor. The positive effect on mental and physical health from being outside in any of our National Parks cannot be overstated. Backpack-camping promotes self-reliance, planning, physical robustness, mental resilience, an adventurous mindset, and a deep respect for the natural world.'