Sunday, March 9

Wild Camping - A Cash Cow?

I'm in the run up period preparing for the NEC Outdoors Show next week. Which means sorting out things in preparation for the UK Outdoors Blogger Convention 2008 ® Plus extra work this year with some key activity in progress in support of the Wildcamping E-Petition during the show. More about that later in the week I hope.

So a timely reminder of how things stand at present:
New Forest National Park:
"Information on camping in the New Forest can be obtained from Forest holidays either by clicking on the Forest holidays link .............****Please note that wild camping is not allowed in the New Forest. Only use the designated campsites. We also recommend that you book your pitch in advance as the campsites can become very busy in the holiday periods.****"

So no commercial interest there then?

Thinking along those lines a purely arbitrary Google search comes up with:

Camping "Wild" in the New Forest: By reason of a voluntary agreement with the Forestry Commission, The Award is the only organisation able to camp "wild" in the New Forest.Obviously there are strict controls over this privilege.........In order to book any of the wild sites, you need to complete and return an application form at least six weeks ahead. (!!!!) Forms available from: The Forestry Commission .......Lyndhurst"

Restrictive practice, and artificial supply?

Or how about this instead?

" Have you ever been Wild Camping with your family by a mountain lake and woken to a view of Snowdonia’s deserted peaks? ........The legal situation is different in Scotland than it is in England and Wales.
In England and Wales, there is no legal right to camp wild and, strictly speaking, permission should be sought. This is, however, impractical.

However, in high mountain areas, and in most other hill land, wild camping is generally accepted above the intake walls, providing it is for a limited time and its fairly discreet - out of sight of houses/farms.
In the Peak District, wild camping is discouraged in some areas and banned completely if the moors are very dry.
The best areas in England and Wales are probably the Lake District and Snowdonia - and you're likely to meet several other wild campers - and very little chance of any hassle "

Cost for providing this guided service start at £150 minimum

(No specific criticism intended of either the latter organisations by the way. I'm sure I could find plenty more along the same lines)

It just strikes me as bizarre the conflicting interests at work here.

And these sort of things worry you as well - then get off now and sign the E-Petition. Please.

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So the DoE are the only people who can wild camping in the forest and they still have to book the sites.

I remember backpacking in the New Forest years ago and the areas they had set aside for backpackers were terrible, the ground was hard and bare with loads of roots and stuff all around.

I was pretty certain that I would damage the groundsheet on my tent.
it was the 6 weeks advance notice that cracked me up
Love to get my hands on a copy of the "approved" wildcamp spots. OIf only to steer clear of them this summer
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