For all those who take part in letterboxing please be aware that:
· All of Dartmoor is owned by someone. Please respect the interests of those who own the land and those who make their living from it.
· You have the right to walk on the common land or other access land in the Dartmoor National Park. These rights were established under the 1985 Dartmoor Commons Act, and Section 39 of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act. All of this land is clearly marked on the up-to-date Ordnance Survey Dartmoor Outdoor Leisure Map, with boundaries shown by a purple line. There is also a right to ride on horseback on common land.
· You must abide by the byelaws made with respect to common and access land in the Dartmoor National Park; copies are available from Dartmoor National Park Information Centres. The most important byelaws to affect letterboxing are outlined in the Letterboxing With Moor Care and Less Wear leaflet, copies also available from D.N.P. Information Centres.
· Military activity takes place over the northern moor on the Merrivale, Okehampton and Willsworthy Training Areas. You must check whether firing is scheduled by reading the local newspaper, by contacting a Dartmoor National Park Information Centre or by phoning the following number 0800 4584868. Firing details are also shown in the fortnightly updates. When firing is taking place on the Ranges, warning signals (red flags by day and lights by night) are displayed on prominent tors, and it is then dangerous to cross the line of red and white poles. If you do find anything which could be military debris, do not touch it and please contact the Commandant Dartmoor Training Areas on (01837) 657210 or the local police on (0990) 777444, giving as accurate a location as possible.
· Dogs must be kept on leads or under close control at all times to prevent the worrying of livestock and disturbance to wildlife. Under the byelaws, a Ranger can require a dog to be put on a lead.
· Weather conditions can change very rapidly on Dartmoor. Wear suitable clothing and carry appropriate equipment.
For all letterbox owners, please ensure that:
· You look after and maintain your letterbox.
· All letterboxes are watertight and contain a contact telephone number and / or address in the visitors’ book to make sure that you can be easily contacted if the need arises.
· Metal containers, such as ammunition boxes, are not used as letterboxes. This is at the request of the Ministry of Defence, because metal containers may become confused with potentially dangerous military debris.
· Letterboxes are placed only in existing natural holes or cavities. Under the bylaws it is an offence to damage land.
· You try as far as possible to position your letterbox at a distance from other existing letterboxes.
· Letterboxes are not cemented or in any other way permanently fixed in place.
Letterboxes are not sited and you do not search for letterboxes:
· On land which does not have public access, unless the permission of the owner has been granted.
· Where they will obviously disturb wildlife e.g. on a badger sett or close to nesting birds.
· On Dartmoor’s vulnerable ground – nesting bird sites from late March until mid July; in particular the Cut Hill / Fur Tor area (GR 59 82, GR 5883), Tavy Cleave (GR 55 83), Headland Warren (GR 68 81, GR 69 81) and the quarries at Swell Tor (GR 56 73).
· In other ‘no-go’ areas as defined by the National Park Authority for the benefit of conservation. These areas may be updated from time to time so please check with the Dartmoor 100 Club for clarification. Information on ‘no-go’ areas is available at all National Park Information Centres.
· In any kind of archaeological feature, for example in or near stone rows or circles, cists (box-like structures made from granite slabs) or cairns (burial mounds), or in any kind of building (however ruined), walls or man-made structure or other artefact. If you are unsure, avoid these locations.
For all letterbox hunters, please ensure that;
· You search for the letterbox in a way which does not damage or disturb the land.
· You replace the box carefully and leave it as you would hope to find it.
· If you find a box in need of attention, for instance if it is saturated, you contact the owner and / or the Letterbox 100 Club who will report the fact in the fortnightly updates.
Follow the Country Code;
· Guard against all risk of fire.
· Fasten all gates.
· Keep your dog on a lead or under close control.
· Keep to the paths across farmland.
· Avoid damaging fences, hedges and walls.
· Leave no litter.
· Safeguard water supplies.
· Protect wildlife, wild plants and trees.
· Go carefully on country roads.
· Respect the life of the countryside.
Distressed or Injured Dartmoor Livestock:
How to call assistance quickly: Distress / Injury – Including road casualties:
To help Dartmoor Livestock, Ponies, Sheep or Cattle – Collapsed, sick, trapped, live lamb by dead ewe, etc. Or if in any doubt, please phone DLPS:- (01364) 73121 or 72174 or 643411 or 661332, (01752) 260067 or 880626, (01822) 810303.
IMPORTANT – Please give these details:- 1. Type of Animal (including colour, dye marks, brand letters, ear tags, special features). 2. What appears wrong. 3. Location. 4. Can you stay to guide assistance? 5. Your name, tel. No. & address.
WARNING: Avoid handling a lamb (often only apparently deserted) as the ewe may reject it.