DSRT Tavistock - Moor Safety.

Moor Safety

If you enjoy walking in any part of Dartmoor you could get caught out by the weather, get injured or be overtaken by events that are out of your control.

We are here to help, but you could do a lot to help yourself.

By taking a few sensible precautions you could avoid meeting the Team in its professional capacity.

Dartmoor is known for having a very changeable weather front and what may start as a sunny day can quickly turn into severe conditions.Don’t let that put you off enjoying Dartmoor but by following this adviceyou can make your walk much safer.

  1. Leave a plan of your route with family or friends including when you will return.
  2. Don't forget to tell them when you do get back!
  3. When planning your route think about possible escape routes in case something does go wrong
  4. Never be afraid to cut your route short. If a member of your party is unwell or you are being overtaken by the weather then turn back before the problem gets worse.
  5. If you are caught out on the Moor and can't get to safety then try to find cover in the shelter of a Tor or other feature.
  6. If you have to call the Team then stay where you are. It’s easier for us to locate you than if you are wandering around.
  7. Mobile phone coverage is patchy at best on the Moor. Don’t rely on having a signal.
  8. Check the local weather forecast BEFORE you venture outside. Don’t assume that because the sun is shining at home it will be on the moor.
  9. Make sure that you are equipped for the Moor –Your basic kit should include:


    • A decent rucksack capable of carrying all your equipment.
    • Emergency food in addition to any planned meals - glucose sweets, biscuits, nuts etc.
    • Map plus a spare and compass - and know how to use them. 
    • Emergency whistle - six blasts every minute is the recognised distress signal.
    • A working torch with spare bulb. Powerful enough to signal with to help us find you.
    • Small first aid kit - plasters + small bandages.
    • Survival bag - as big as you are and bright orange colour. 
    • Dry spare clothing in a plastic bag (and put your mobile phone in one too).
    • Good boots are a must. These should ideally be waterproof and offer good ankle support.
    • Waterproofs are also a MUST for Dartmoor!
    • Hat and Gloves.
  10. Check the firing schedules if you are planning to walk through a range. If there are RED flags or lights then firing will be in progress and avoid these areas.
  11. If you find any ordinance, don’t handle it. Make a note of its location and inform the Dartmoor National Parks Authority or Landmarc Support services. (These are the people that run the ranges). See our Links page for more details.
  12. These suggestions should help make your Dartmoor experience “moor” enjoyable.

For more information

If you are lost or injured and require urgent assistance from the team please dial 999 and ask for mountain rescue

You can write to us at the following address:

The Rescue Centre
Abbey Rise
PL19 9BB

Charity No: 1106094

Or use the form below:

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Please give generously

We are an entirely voluntary organisation based in Tavistock, Devon. We assist the police and the other emergency services to search for, treat and evacuate people lost or injured not just on Dartmoor, but anywhere we’re needed.

Each year we have to raise over £18,000 just to keep ourselves operational, plus any extra costs to replace kit and train our team members.Which is why we are thankful for every donation we receive so that we can maintain this vital service.

Charity No: 1106094

You can make a donation by any of the following methods:

Text Donate

- Text DART03 £3 or £5 or £10 etc to 70070 eg DART03 £10 to make a donation of £10 right now.

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Visit our charity page on BT MyDonate

Send a Cheque made payable to DSRT Tavistock to:

The Rescue Centre
Abbey Rise
PL19 9BS