Livestock in Dartmoor, one of the national parks in Devon, is being put at risk because of holidaymakers and pleasure seekers who are keen to go out camping, biking and climbing.

This is according to Marion Saunders, chairwoman of the Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society, who noted in her foreword to the group’s annual report that that the “recreational overuse” of this part of the country is changing the moorland’s character and having a negative impact on the animals, the Guardian reports.

“Off-road cycling, wild camping, marathon running, rock climbing, tobogganing, the tread of thousands of feet, hang gliding and more all occur on Dartmoor and they push hill farming in to the background,” Ms Saunders continued.

She went on to add that, while some coming to the area may find it a hindrance to have to slow down for sheep on the road and so on, outdoor activities on Dartmoor would disappear if there were no farmers because the moorland would grow to be an “overgrown and impenetrable wilderness”.

The DLPS is also now campaigning for responsible dog-walking on the commons to prevent lambs and sheep from being chased, bitten or killed. To that end they are helping to fund a livestock protection officer.

And you may well notice that some of the famous Dartmoor ponies now come with reflective paint. This is yet another initiative from the organisation to make them more visible for motorists driving after dark. Many animals are killed on roads around the region each year, so it seems that this scheme is more than necessary for everyone’s protection.

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