Court told wild camping is not open-air recreation as park authority appeals against recent ban

Wild camping is not recreation because sleeping is not an enjoyable activity, lawyers acting for a wealthy landowner said in court while defending a judge’s decision to ban the activity on Dartmoor national park.

In a packed courtroom at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Tuesday, lawyers for the Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) brought an appeal against the decision to ban backpack camping on the common land. The case hinges on whether wild camping counts as ‘open-air recreation’ as allowed in a 1985 law.

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