Wild camping in North Wales has increased since the lockdown – here are the rules on what you can and can’t do


Wild camping has grown in popularity since the lockdown began, as many people choose to vacation closer to home.Campers have been heading to some of the area’s beauty spots in recent weeks, to make the most of the mountains, coastlines and Snowdonia National Park.

But as coronavirus regulations in England and Wales disappear, not everyone is sure about the rules for wild camping.

And some recent cases where tents have been abandoned, alcohol bottles have been abandoned and even human excrement has been left behind, has led to tensions among locals and tourists alike.

This appalling behavior is clearly unacceptable, but even for legitimate campers who abide by the campaign code, there is confusion.

In Anglesey this week, wild campers were pictured on Cymran beach prompting a local to complain to Anglesey Police and Council

Here’s what you can and can’t do in wild camping.

Wild campers pictured near Cymran Beach in Anglesey this week

What is wild camping?

Wild or free camping is a generic term that designates any type of camping apart from a regular or serviced campsite.

What the law says?

Wild camping is a civil offense in England and Wales which could turn into a criminal offense if the owner’s wishes are not followed.

You should not pitch a tent or park an RV without permission from the landowner.

Wild campers pictured near Cymran Beach in Anglesey this week

In the case of public land, you will need to apply for a camping permit from the local authority.

The license can dictate where and how the camp is set up, as well as what you do regarding your bathroom requirements.

In Scotland this is legal and you are allowed to camp on most of the open land.

However, due to overuse, parts of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs are subject to wilderness camping regulations.

Why is this illegal?

Most land in England and Wales is owned by someone, whether it’s private property or government owned.

Remaining without permission is considered trespassing and could result in arrest or a fine.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority issued a warning yesterday after 19 penalties were handed down against illegal campers following a string of overnight stays.

Wild campers pictured near Cymran Beach in Anglesey this week

In Wales campers are encouraged to use organized and established campsites to minimize the impact on the surrounding environment.

Lighting campfires without permission from the local council, government or landowner is prohibited.

However, the campsites did not receive the green light from the government to reopen until July 25.

What is the campsite label?

If you are allowed to camp, there are some camping rules that you should follow so that you don’t rub locals the wrong way.

Rule number one is to leave no traces. Everything you bring with you should be taken – including your litter box and leftover food.

If there are no public toilets nearby to use the Wild Camping Code states that the toilets must be at least 30m from any water source or path and that the waste must be buried at least 15cm deep and covered. Take paper and all sanitary ware with you.

Fires are strictly prohibited, a portable gas stove must be used for cooking.

Choose your location carefully and avoid digging ditches, trampling plants, and moving rocks and stones just to accommodate your tent.

Camp away from homes, farms, and roads to minimize interference.


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