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Cornwall’s not wild about ‘wild’ camping

As Cornwall prepares to welcome back visitors, campers are being asked to plan their visits and book ahead rather than leave it to chance where they stay overnight.  

So-called ‘wild camping’, where campers pitch out in the open away from official campsites, is increasingly popular - but can be problematic, and in some cases dangerous.

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Rob Nolan, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “Our strong advice is for all visitors to book ahead with proper accommodation providers and camp sites, not to arrive in Cornwall with no plan about where to stay. Wild camping can cause problems with litter, sanitation, trespass and may create conflict with landowners and residents.

“We are absolutely welcoming visitors back to Cornwall and want them all to have enjoyable stays. But we ask that they respect our residents and communities and follow all the health guidance rules and social distancing requirements.

“Please don’t be tempted to pitch a tent or stay overnight in your campervan anywhere you like the look of.” 

There are serious safety issues with wild camping on or near the highway, on agricultural land (particularly ahead of harvest) or near livestock.

Always follow the Countryside Code, and be aware that while camping on cliffs, moorland, or near fast flowing watercourses may seem idyllic, sudden changes in the weather can create unforeseen hazards.

Camping overnight in tents or vehicles in most car parks or on beaches is not permitted. We also don’t accept camping in public parks, or in controlled countryside such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), or by Historic Monuments or Heritage Sites.

You must not camp on private land without the owners’ permission.

Rob added: “Cornwall values its tourist economy, and welcomes visitors who have booked and planned ahead, and who follow the Coronavirus health guidelines.

“Please observe signs posted on beaches, in parks, showing diversions from public footpaths, and in other outdoor public areas. If you have dogs with you, please keep them under control at all times and on a lead in busy areas, and observe the restrictions in place on many beaches in these summer months.”

“Welcome back to Cornwall. Stay safe. And stay safely.”