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Dartmoor braces for lockdown influx

Calls for people to respect area

Dartmoor National Park is preparing for a busy period ahead as the country looks forward to an end to covid imprisonment. 

A rise in visitors over the autumn has led to more litter, fires and damage to the fabric of the moor. Last year, parts of Dartmoor were swamped with visitors in the periods in which lockdown was lifted, and occasionally at times when it wasn't. 

Now the National Park Authority is working with local landowners to balance conservation against people coming to enjoy the area.

One man who owns 2,000 acres of Dartmoor is fearful of an influx of visitors to the area.  Over the winter, Patrick Simpson has moved scores of boulders to stop motorists driving across the grass verges and blocking access.

Referring to car parks overflowing,  Mr Simpson says: "It's bedlam, frankly...There are other car parks on Dartmoor and they'll have to go there.

"There's a limit to everything, and the limits on Dartmoor have increased rapidly in the past couple of years."

An increase in visitors is welcomed by the National Park Authority, which is encouraging people to respect the countrywide.

This film report is from BBC Spotlight.

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