Bushcrafting on Dartmoor and the surrounding areas.

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Mar 16, 2016
Hi guys

Does anybody know of an area where I cant camp under my tarp, maybe do a spot of fishing on Dartmoor? Most of the woodland on Dartmoor are private and you cant start an open fire on common land. I love camping and I'm now slowing getting into bushcraft. My kit is packet and ready to go. Just to sit next to an open fire surrounded by nature, cooking the fish I caught earlier (or what ever from Morrison's) is heaven.

Can anybody put me in touch with a land owner or point me in the right direction to find somebody who owns a woodland where I can camp, build a fire and enjoy the great outdoors?

If anybody want to meet up and knows of a good area please get in touch. The good news is I have Monday to Thursday free and the Bad news is I work Friday to Sunday in Plymouth.




New Member
Apr 21, 2015
Hello mate. Piles copse is a nice place. The river Erme runs alongside it. There are signs with a number to call if you want to camp. There are also areas where you can have a fire.
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Sep 9, 2013
Dartmoor is my favourite place for wild camping. The byelaws about fire state that you are allowed a fire in a properly constructed camping stove / cooker.

"No person shall light a fire on the access land, or place or throw or let fall a lighted match or any other thing so as to be likely to cause a fire. This byelaw shall not prevent the lighting or use in such a manner as not to cause danger of or damage by fire of a properly constructed camping stove or cooker." - http://www.dartmoor.gov.uk/aboutus/au-theauthority/au-whatwedo/au-legislation/au-byelaws

Please remember however that the majority of Dartmoor is peat. Peat burns quite well... so much so that it can burn underground for days before returning to the surface. No one wants to start a wild fire.

I've used a firebox style stove on Dartmoor before. Just remember to keep it off the ground. I usually place mine on a rock. Fernworth is the place where I see the most evidence of 'bad' bushcraft being practised. Last time I was there (about 6 months ago), there was litter everywhere, several trees were heavily damaged where people had tried to cut them down and failed / given up, and there was evidence of fires everywhere. It was really quite sad.

Personally I would not recommend Fernworthy, especially if there is even the remotest chance of it being windy as the number if widow markers there is very high. Surprisingly the south east edge of the forest was where I saw the most widow makers and also the most evidence of bad bushcraft. I guess people were so excited by the large wind fall branches (firewood) that they didn't look up. That and it's close to the car park for the reservoir but far enough away not to be heavily trafficked by dog walkers & hikers.

I've only ever been fishing in the sea, so have no advice for fresh water.

Be safe, enjoy yourself, and leave no trace.


Jan 6, 2015
United Kingdom
Went to Piles Copse last night

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Feb 8, 2014
I love it around Piles Copse and Harford Moor. It is popular for camping and there is much evidence of quite large fires along the flat land beside the river which is a shame.
Nice photos though. I guess you made it up to Sharptor and Three Barrows. Stalldown Barrow on the other side of the Erme has one of the longest stone rows in Europe along with an interesting little "house" which I have used as a lunch stop on several occasions to shelter from the wind.
What camera are you using?

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Jan 6, 2015
United Kingdom
First time i had been there. I didnt like thst there were other people thrre at first but i couldnt hear them and i enjoyed the smell of their woodsmoke

I just use a Gopro hero 4 silver and my Samsung galaxy s6.

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Full Member
Dec 31, 2005
There was an area that was really nice to camp beside the river but I can't find its name at the minute. It was next to an are of SSI with stunted oaks. Fires, when I was there a lot of the river bed was exposed so theoretically a fire could be had as long as the stunted oaks aren't used. Fishing, I think its a no no. Happy to be corrected but all fish is to be caught via a rod and line in the UK and in England and wales you need a licence to have a rod and line for fishing.


Aug 8, 2010
North Devon
Piles Copse SSSI
Hung my hammock there in February. Disturbed a few woodcock then, so I think I will wait until the nesting season is finished until I return.
Personally, I prefer LNT.
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