Pop-up campsites on private land - what is and isn't allowed

A file picture of a pop-up camp site from a previous summer

A file picture of a pop-up camp site from a previous summer - Credit: David Medcalf/Geograph

With 2021 set to be the year of the staycation, and with record numbers of visitors predicted to head to Devon over the coming months, councils are expecting plenty of ‘pop-up camping sites’ to be created. 

The Government has passed legislation to allow temporary, pop-up campsites to open for up to 56 days this year – an increase on the usual 28 days – and pop-up campsites do not require planning permission. 

However, councils across the county are reminding and advising the public that there are rules that have to be taken into consideration if you are thinking of opening up a pop-up campsite on your land. 

  1. You can only accept tents. 
  2. You can only place temporary facilities on your land. 
  3. Please try and cut the grass as short as you possibly can. 
  4. Everything must be removed after 56 days 
  5. You’ll need to provide portable toilets, a hand washing station and a supply of water. 
  6. If you have a private water supply that has not been certified for commercial use you should provide potable bottled water for your visitors. If you intend temporarily extending a mains water supply you will need to check this is acceptable with South West Water waterregs@southwestwater.co.uk 
  7. You may need to put down some mats in gateways if the weather is wet, and remove them after the camp site closes. 
  8. You will need to consider how the rubbish from the site will be disposed of and arrange for this to be taken away by a licensed waste carrier. 
  9. You need to risk assess your site which must bear relation to any relevant COVID restrictions. You will need to consider the risks on your land and how you can help campers to stay safe. Think about any information that you can provide for them via email or on a temporary notice board. 
  10. You will need to manage behaviour of visitors to avoid unreasonable disturbance through loud music etc. 
  11. You must display a COVID test and trace QR code which you can download from GOV.UK. 
  12. It is your responsibility to keep yourself up-to-date with the very latest COVID guidance for the hospitality industry 
  13. Insurance can usually be provided by the insurer who insures your land for public liability. There is usually an additional charge for this.

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