The new Ranger Code asks visitors to Dartmoor National Park to follow six simple steps to help them look after this special landscape and protect the wildlife and livestock that live on Dartmoor.
As an extra incentive, there is the added bonus that if they spot people following the code while enjoying the National Park, there could be an on-the-spot reward!
The Love Moor Life campaign and Ranger Code asks people to do six simple things:
Dartmoor National Park has enjoyed increasing popularity as a landscape for people to enjoy through various recreational activities. From walking the dog and picnicking, to mountain biking and backpack camping, the landscape is a beautiful backdrop for all to enjoy.
This increased popularity has created pressures, particularly around some of the more popular sites on the moor. This has had an impact on landowners and the farming community and put extra pressure on Rangers to try and protect wildlife, animals and the landscape.
The campaign has been developed in conjunction with farmers, landowners, voluntary groups and people who regularly use Dartmoor, with a view to trying to simplify some of the messages that have been previously used.
Ranger Team Leader Simon Lee says, “We know that most people who come to Dartmoor want to do the right thing to protect the wildlife and landscape. We hope that this simple code will be easy to follow and that by doing it you will be helping us look after Dartmoor. My team will be on the look-out for people following the code and will be sharing on-the-spot rewards. Visitors can also share images of themselves following the Ranger Code on social media to win seasonal prizes.”
The campaign aims to help change people’s behaviour, and through this, see a reduction in the amount of dog attacks, animal deaths and injuries on the roads, litter being left behind and camping in places where it’s not allowed.
The cost for irresponsible behaviour is high; litter costs Dartmoor National Park Authority £20,000 to dispose of each year, relying on regular volunteers to help clear up after people.
Animal deaths and injuries are also a distressing problem; in 2017 the Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society recorded 66 attacks on livestock and 164 animal deaths or injuries on the roads.
Chair of Dartmoor National Park Authority Bill Hitchins says, “We want people to come and enjoy the National Park, it’s a beautiful landscape. We know most people want to do the right thing to help us keep it that way. We hope that by keeping the messages simple and clear and by rewarding people for helping us Love Moor Life, it will have a positive impact on the unique wildlife and animals on Dartmoor.”