Whilst most are enjoying the pleasures of a long awaited summer’s evening, spare a thought for the handful of Rangers on duty patrolling the well known ‘hot spots’ on the Moor and dealing with a variety of issues.
Some may argue that there are better ways to spend an evening but with a well planned rota this amounts to only six evenings each and, for safety, we always team up with another colleague or a Voluntary Warden.
It’s a pleasure to share a cab with a like minded person to catch up on the news, issues and local gossip as well as experience what the Moor can offer late into the evening. A glimpse of the wildlife such as a red grouse or a roe deer, so rarely seen during the busy day, is always a treat and on many a night to experience the setting sun, silhouetting the open moor, is always a pleasure.
But enjoying the natural beauty of Dartmoor is not the real reason why we are out! With our intimate knowledge of our sectors we have a pretty good understanding of where any issues may occur and getting to places in good time allows us to deal with things before it is difficult to do so. The type of things we are normally faced with is are
- the usual overnight campers who have pitched the family tent next to their cars;
- the groups just starting to get an open fire going;
- courting couples(I’ll say no more!);
- the event that you knew nothing about;
- and, the ever increasing numbers of camper vans who are under the impression that they can stop overnight wherever they want to.
There are always exceptions but the majority are genuinely doing things out of a lack of knowledge or understanding about the special qualities of Dartmoor and in general the right approach brings the right response for us and Dartmoor. It’s part and parcel of being a proactive Ranger these days although, on occasions, to be experiencing that sunset with a quiet pint and a few friends in the local pub does have its merits as well!
For more information on wild camping and the byelaws with regard camper vans and open fires please visit our camping section on this website.