Paying to Wild Camp in the U.K.

paying to wild camp in the u.k.

An article popped up on one of my facebook feeds the other day Wild Camping UK about people paying to wild camp in the U.K.

It stated that wild camping was to now be paid for in certain areas of the U.K.

The company who launched the scheme set a charge of £20 per tent for people to book a pitch in the ‘Wild’ area of there choice!

Forgive me but I thought wild camping was all about ‘wild camping’ NOT booking a pitch.

Half the £20.00 fee went to the owner of the land, a quarter to the national park and a quarter to UK Wild Camp.

Wild Camping in the Ennerdale Valley, The English Lake District.

The project had a high-profile launch at the Houses of Parliament last week. Lake District chief executive Richard Leafe figures large on photographs posted on the Twitter page.

This announcement about paying to wild camp in the uk caused uproar across all social media platforms with thousands of people who basically stated what a stupid idea it was.

Personally I completely agree paying to use something that is free! Come on, oh how about we tax the food we eat? Oh sorry we already do that then how about Air!


Real Turmat Outdoor Meals
Hiking and Wild Camping.
Real Turmat Outdoor Meals
Hiking and Wild Camping.

We are not as fortunate as the Scandinavian countries where such things as Allemansrätten exist. Allemansrätten is basically the right to roam, fish, forage and collect dead wood for fires.

There are certain rules to follow which is understandable and most people in these countries has this etched into their minds as children and therefore the rules are followed all through their lives.

People in these countries respect the outdoors, ok there is a lot more wild areas in Scandinavia.

In the U.K. we are not really 3 / hours away from an area you could class as wild.

Real Turmat Outdoor Meals

Later in the week UK Wild Camp withdrew their service from their website due to the amount of complaints they had received

UK Wild Camp that wild camping is illegal in the UK (this is not true). The Land Reform Act (Scotland) 2003 people to legally wild camp in accordance with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Wild camping is also legally allowed for up to two nights on certain areas of Dartmoor and although not legally allowed it is tolerated in the Lake District to (but certain rules follow) highlighted the issues, requested Freedom of Information with Defra and the MPs involved. They researched who runs the company, researched who was funding this initiative and questioned the National Parks about their involvement.

UK Wild Camp issued the following statement concerning paying to wild camp in the U.K:

Thanks to all of you who have expressed a point of view about our wild camping pilot. It’s amazing to get such a deluge of comment and correspondence, from a wide range of opinions.

We have had more than 3,000 expressions of support from landowners and would-be campers, wanting to try a night in the wild. We believe there is a real demand for a service like ours, and we’d still love to launch a scheme that brings more people into the wild, without disrupting those that are there already.
The £20 fee (per pitch, not per person) was intended to incentivise landowners to participate. Part of what we were trying to establish in the pilot was the correct price, but wherever we ended up, half it would go to the owner of the land, 25% to the National Parks and the rest to run the platform.
Set against that support, and as one of you put it, we seem to have inadvertently kicked over a hornets’ nest among the existing wild camping community.
We’re wild campers too and thought the idea of campaigning to remove the current restrictions would be welcome. We also thought that running a booking scheme for entry-level wild campers, one that would provide them with the security and legitimacy that currently causes them concerns about camping wild, would be understood and welcome by the wider group. We now see this is not the case! 
With this is mind, we are going to suspend our service and have a re-think about how we might revise it. We won’t describe any future version of our service as “wild camping” because for many of you that specifically means free and unplanned camping. Nor are we likely to stray into a debate around relaxing the laws on wild camping, because we now understand this is a highly charged area.
We’ll continue to respond to all who are in touch and, as we rethink our plans, we will be back in contact to consult about how this service might evolve in the future. It’s also worth reminding readers that this is a private initiative rather than one initiated by DEFRA or any of the National Parks. We approached them, and they were good enough to encourage us in our pilot. DEFRA also provided a small amount of seed funding. All complaints to us please, rather than them.

gear load out for sweden

So with all of this in view should we follow the Scandinavian way? Are we capable of respecting the land if we are allowed to use it? Some photos that I see posted on social media of camps let people have just up and left makes me think no but this is only just a few the will ruin the ability to connect with the outdoors and nature for the rest of us.

hiking along the suffolk coastal path
Hiking along the Suffolk Coastal Path.

Personally I would love to be able to wild camp in my local area (legally). There are areas I use and I follow these basic principles:

  • Arrive late.
  • Setup out of the view of public.
  • No open fire.
  • Leave no trace.
  • Pack up early.

Now on another matter. Where I live it is not permitted to camp on the banks of the Norfolk Broads, BUT it is completely acceptable to setup a divvy to night fish on the broads.

So if I bring a fishing rod with me does this make it acceptable?

paying to wild camp in the u.k.

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