Wild camping in the UK

Mark Garbers of Love Camping gives us some guidelines about wild camping in the UK.

“There’s nothing quite like wild camping for the true “back to nature” experience. When done properly it’s a very environmentally friendly way to see some truly wonderfully hidden areas of the UK countryside. However, as with anything, there are always a few guidelines to be followed, even in this most unstructured type of holiday:-

Leave the site in the same (or better) condition as you found it

This is the golden rule of wild camping. Pay special care to areas where you may have had a campfire and most certainly don’t leave any rubbish or litter lying around on your departure. Bury your toilet doings and don’t bury tampons or sanitary towels- animals can smell the pheromones and are sure to dig them up.

Don’t get in the way

Even though a lot of open land may not appear to be used when you pitch camp, the odds are good that dog walkers and ramblers will come upon your site at some stage during your stay (most likely early in the morning, always say hello and be friendly!). As such, don’t camp on towpaths or bridleways or anywhere else where you could block access.

Be careful when camping on farmland

A large amount of ‘open’ land in the UK actually belongs to farmers. While they may not appear to be working the land at present, it does belong to them and there’s nothing more sure to annoy a farmer first thing in the morning than finding he can’t graze his cattle in a field because you’re camping in it! A general rule of thumb is that if you need to climb over fences to get to a campsite, you’re likely to be camping on private land and need to be extra sure that you’re not going to cause a nuisance.

Be prepared to move

There are times when you will get item number 2 wrong… in those cases, be prepared to be polite and be happy to move if asked. The key here is to be polite. Most situations can be defused by a simple apology and then going on your merry way.

Where possible, arrive late and leave early

This will ensure that you cause minimum disturbance, especially if you’re on agricultural land.

Respect the peace and quiet

Don’t make huge amounts of noise or disturbance. You are guests of the land and should respect your surroundings accordingly.”