Much of Brentor Parish is within the Dartmoor National Park, which makes it a very special and valuable part of our national heritage. Living within the National Park provides benefits as well as resticting what changes and activities can go on within our environment.
This page provides some information of local interest but much more can be found on the Dartmoor National Park Authority website.
Dartmoor military firing range timetable – find out when it is safe to visit the firing ranges at Merrivale, Willsworthy and Okehampton.
Lambing and Bird Nesting season
From 1st March to 31st July visitors to the moor should take special care to keep their dogs under control. Sheep are lambing and the lambs are specially vulnerable to the attention of dogs. Our moors are the home to rare birds, such as the ground-nesting skylark – it is so easy for a dog to destroy one of their nests.
The Mary Tavy Commoners’ Association has provided the following information:
Sheep are valuable assets and any harm to them harms a farmer’s livelihood. It is every dog’s instinct to chase, even if they are usually obedient and good with other animals.
Chasing by dogs can do serious damage to sheep, even if the dog doesn’t catch them. The stress of worrying by dogs can cause sheep to die and pregnant ewes to miscarry their lambs.
Sheep fleeing from dogs are often killed or seriously injured by their panicked attempts to escape, causing untold damage to fences and field boundaries in the process. Dogs chasing ewes and lambs can cause mis-mothering issues, with lambs dying from starvation or hypothermia when they become separated from their mother and fail to find her again.
Dog bites can cause death in sheep or necessitate them being put down at a later date, or in less severe cases considerable veterinary bills and additional welfare issues as a result of flies being attracted to the blood and leading to a nasty health problem in sheep called ‘fly strike’. Injuries to sheep can also delay the normal farming routine, be it the mating season or administration of vital medicines and vaccines.
It is an offence to allow a dog to worry sheep. Worrying includes attacking or chasing sheep and, in some circumstances, farmers are legally entitled to shoot dogs if they are endangering their sheep
It is vital that you keep your dog on the lead around livestock, even if you can usually trust it to come to call. If you live in or near a farming area, you must make sure that your dog cannot escape from your property, as it may find its way onto land containing sheep.
The Countryside and Right of Way Act (CROW Act) sets out public rights of access to open land and the restrictions to these rights. Although CROW allows anyone on to open access land (land you can access without having to use paths, including mountains, moorland, heaths, downs and registered common land) for recreation, the Act states that the public can only go on this land if they keep dogs on a fixed lead of 2 metres or less near livestock. The owner of open access land can close areas containing sheep to dogs for up to six weeks once a year, as a safeguard during lambing. Trained guide and hearing dogs are still allowed in these areas during this closure.
Dartmoor national Park Bylaw 9
(1) Every person in charge of a dog on the access land shall as far as is reasonably practicable keep the dog under close control and restrain the dog from behaviour giving reasonable grounds for annoyance
(2) Every person in charge of a dog on the access land shall, as far as is reasonably practicable, comply with a direction given by a Ranger or other officer of the Authority to keep the dog on a lead.
(3) A direction under paragraph 2 above may only be given if such restraint is reasonably necessary to prevent a nuisance or behaviour by the dog likely to cause annoyance or disturbance to any person on the access land or the worrying or disturbance of any animal or bird.