Information if you are planning on visiting the South West of England to complete your DofE expedition on Dartmoor.


In relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that LOs consider:

– The DfE’s guidance for those operating in educational settings, and/or the National Youth Agency’s information for managing youth sector activities

– The relevant guidance from Dartmoor National Park around visiting the park

– The policies and processes of your own LO around trips and visits.

We would also like to highlight some of the temporary programme changes the DofE have introduced which include the option to run expeditions in your local area and allow pupils to return home overnight.


Robert Steemson
E: [email protected]

South West Regional Office
E: [email protected]

Hot spots, access issues and hazards

Dartmoor hot spots, access issues and hazards

There are planned closures on open access land during 2021; please refer to Natural England’s website for more information.

Donate For Dartmoor raises money to help protect and care for the area. Fundraising supports three development areas – Recreation, Natural and Historic. Visitors to the National Park are encouraged to contribute to the fund through their website. Suggested donations are £2 per visitor.

Like all expedition areas, Dartmoor has byelaws, local issues and hazards you should be aware of when planning your expedition. The list below has been compiled with the support of Dartmoor National Park and DofE Assessors with local knowledge of the area.

  1. Many of Dartmoor’s streams and rivers will become impassable during and after heavy rain. Teams must have pre-planned, alternative routes for all river crossings not on a bridge – especially fords and stepping stones.
  2. Dartmoor has three firing ranges which are closed to the public during live firing. There is guaranteed access on public holidays and throughout the month of August. At all other times you will need to check the firing programme which can be found online or call 0800 458 4868.
  3. Unexploded ordnance can be found anywhere on the moor. Please do not touch or tamper with any strange or metal object.
  4. The bridle path through Foxtor Mire crosses an exceptionally deep bog and is usually impassable – teams are advised to handrail around the mire using the wall at the western end or use the footbridge at SX641724 to the east.
  5. Swaling (controlled burning of vegetation) takes place on the moor between October and March and wild fires can occur throughout the year. Teams must be prepared to take an appropriate escape route if required, and must take care not to start fires at all times.

There is good open access across much of the moor, but teams must adhere to Public Rights of Way when crossing enclosed farmland.

There is an excellent interactive map on the National Park website which shows you where wild camping is permitted.

DofE teams are asked to avoid rare bird nesting areas between 1 March to 31 July. Click here for maps of these exclusion zones.

Dogs must be kept on short leads during the lambing and nesting season; 15 March to 31 July, and under close control near livestock at all times.

Obstruction of gateways and access tracks by vehicles is a common problem – please park with consideration and, whenever possible, in the car parks provided. Problems frequently occur at Scorhill, Baggator Gate and West Coombe, North Bovey.

Dartmoor firing times information can be found here.