Make the most of your day: Frequently asked questions

Knowing before you go helps to ensure you make the most of your time spent in the countryside

Life is fast paced and forever changing and we always do our best to provide our visitors with the latest updates. So whether you're a new or returning explorer to our Peak District sites, take a look at this article for information to help you have a visit that is enjoyable and helps look after the countryside at the same time.

Covid-19 related questions

We want to keep you updated about how we are responding to the coronavirus situation. Please head to the central National Trust website to find answers to some of your most frequently asked questions in the light of current guidance.

Know before you go: Plan ahead

Walking in the Peak District can be a stroll across scenic meadows, an easy-to-follow waymarked walk or striking out further afield. Whatever your plans, you can ensure that your time spent in the countryside is enjoyable, whilst at the same time being kind to the landscape, wildlife and local communities. Below are answers to some of your most freqently asked questions when visiting our countryside properties.

Section 1: Who to contact

If someone gets badly injured whilst out in the countryside, who do you contact?

Please call 999 immediately and give them your location and as much detail as possible. Mountain rescue teams are called out through the police, via the 999 system, to assist the statutory services – police, fire and ambulance. They also work with the Air Ambulance and HM Coastguard helicopters as well as the search and rescue dog associations and cave rescue. To call for mountain or cave rescue assistance, dial 999, ask for ‘Police’ then either ‘Mountain rescue’ or ‘Cave rescue’. For more information please head to the Mountain Rescue website.

I don't feel confident using grid references, what else can I use?

When reporting an incident in the countryside, it can help the organisation or the emergency services to either provide a grid reference or use the what3words app. Download the app before leaving home, if needed it will generate a unique three-word pinpoint location that you can pass on to the emergency services, landowner or organisation. 

I have growing concerns about XXXX how can I report this and who to?

Fires – If you notice a fire, please get to a safe place and ring 999 immediately and provide them with the location and as much detail as you can.

Many out of control fires, sadly start due to carelessness or a lack of awareness. We urge people to be fire aware and remember that open fires such as BBQs and campfires are not permitted across the Peak District National Park at any time of the year, and that cigarette ends and other smoking materials must be extinguished properly and not discarded on the ground.

Antisocial behaviour – If you feel that the behaviour is a threat to life or injury then please ring 999 immediately and provide them with the location and as much detail as you can. If you have growing concerns about displays of antisocial behaviour, please call 101 and provide them with the location and as much detail as you can. Where possible, make a note of the incident number and follow this up with the local council for the area.

Irresponsible parking – If you need to report irresponsible parking that is causing damage to roadside verges, danger to pedestrians and other road users please call 101 and provide them with the location and as much detail as you can. Where possible, make a note of the incident number and follow this up with the local council for the area. If you find that your access from your house is blocked by a vehicle and you need to get out in an emergency, please ring 999 and provide them with the location and as much detail as you can.

Raves – Raves are not permitted in the Peak District National Park. If you notice a rave that poses a threat to property or life, please ring 999 immediately and provide them with the location and as much detail as you can. If you have growing concerns about a developing rave, please call 101 and provide them with the location and as much detail as you can.

Fly-tipping – Fly-tipping is against the law. If you discover fly-tipping on roadsides or laybys, please contact the local council immediately and provide them with the location and as much detail as possible. If you discover fly-tipping in the countryside please report this immediately to the landowner and provide them with an exact location and as much detail as possible.

Please note that different areas of the Peak District National Park fall under different local councils. If you are having difficulty identifying the correct council for a particular area, please click here and enter the postcode.

Illegal off-road driving – Illegal off-road driving is not permitted across the Peak District National Park. Emergency access tracks across the landscape are there for staff and emergency vehicles only. Illegal off-road driving causes damages to paths, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and takes precious time away from our staff and emergency services to report and rescue vehicles that get stuck. If you have growing concerns about illegal off-road driving, then please call 101 and provide them with the location and as much detail as possible. Where the vehicles pose a threat to property or life, please ring 999 immediately and provide them with the location and as much detail as you can.

Section 2: Tech equipment in the countryside

Can I use my drone in the Peak District?

The Peak District National Park comprises of areas owned by a range of private and public landowners. The flying of drones is not permitted unless permission has been granted by the landowner and the appropriate contract and licenses are in place.

There are two sets of regulation which apply to the use of drones in the UK, whether they are being used for commercial or recreational purposes:

  • aviation regulations which are enforced by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA); and
  • data protection regulations which apply where the drone is used for capturing personal data and are enforced by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).
  • Anyone using a drone needs to follow basic safety rules which are summarised in the CAA's Dronecode.

The British Model Flying Association offers advice and guidance on the current legal situation regarding drones and model aircraft.

If you have concerns about the use of drones in any area, either from a safety or privacy perspective, then you should contact your local police. The landowners across the Peak District National Park are not enforcement organisations and cannot respond to individual cases, which will be passed on to the police if appropriate. The CAA does not investigate complaints of drone misuse.

I rarely have phone signal when I go out walking and I use that to help me navigate, what should I do?

Mobile phone signal is non-existent in many areas of the Peak District National Park. If you use your phone for maps and information, please make sure to download this to your phone or take photos/screenshots of all the things you need before setting off - that way you can be prepared for your time spent in the countryside. This is also a good time to get yourself familiar with Ordnance Survey maps and using a compass if you are planning a long hike. If you are a solo explorer, always make sure a friend or family member knows where you are going.

Section 3: 'Wild camping'

Can I camp anywhere in the Peak District National Park?

‘Wild camping' (anywhere outside of designated camp sites) is only allowed with landowner permission, and the majority of landowners in the Peak District do not allow this. There's also no wild camping allowed on National Park Authority land or National Trust land. To avoid disappointment, we encourage anyone wanting to camp, to plan ahead and book in at a campsite. To book in at a campsite you can visit the Pitchup website which lists all the different campsites across the UK.

Section 4: Farm animals

Are there farm animals everywhere in the countryside?

Many areas of the Peak District countryside are working landscapes where you may encounter sheep and cows. Please be respectful of farmers and minimise disturbance to the farm animals by sticking to the paths in fields where sheep or cows are grazing, and keep dogs on a short 2m lead at all times around farm animals. Help our countryside to be productive farmland as well as a home for wildlife by taking the lead and sticking to the paths. If you ever feel threatened by cattle when out with your dog, then let go of the lead as the cattle are more likely to be interested in the dog.

Section 5: BBQs, campfires, outdoor cooking equipment and picnics

Can I have a BBQ or campfire in the Peak District National Park?

Many out of control fires, sadly start due to carelessness or a lack of awareness. We urge people to be fire aware and remember that open fires such as BBQs and campfires are not permitted across the Peak District National Park at any time of the year, and that cigarette ends and other smoking materials must be extinguished properly and not discarded on the ground.

We want everyone to be able to enjoy the outdoors. At any time of the year when you're in countryside - whether there's a heatwave or not - please follow this simple advice:

  • If you see a fire, get to a safe place, note the fire’s location and call 999. Stay safe and don’t attempt to tackle the fire yourself.
  • Bring a picnic to enjoy and take all litter home with you. Open fires such as campfires and BBQs are not allowed in the Peak District National Park, as they are a risk to public safety and the wildlife that live here. Also remember, heat reflecting off glass can also spark fires.
  • Dispose of cigarette ends safely to avoid accidental fires and take all your litter home with you.

Can I bring a picnic and what do I do with my rubbish?

Picnics are the ideal way to enjoy the stunning views and scenery the countryside has to offer. When dining outside please ensure that all the remnants of your picnic return home with you and are not left in the countryside. Play your part in keeping those views you love unspoilt, unpolluted and safe for wildlife and for everyone. When bins aren’t available place the litter that you brought with you in your bag to dispose of correctly at home.

Why don’t you have more toilets and bins in the landscape?

Issues of access, emptying and servicing make the provision of bins/toilets extremely costly and our charitable resources, as well as staff and volunteer time is very limited. We have some incredible staff and volunteers who are picking up litter each day across our different Peak District sites. You can help look after the places you love to visit, by taking all your litter home when bins aren't available.

Section 6: Food and beverage at our places

Can I bring my reusable cup?

Some cafés and food outlets are now accepting re-usable cups again, provided they are clean and in good condition. For the health and wellbeing of everyone, our teams will be following a specific process to minimise handling.

Can the disposable items be recycled?

Our Vegware cups, lids and sandwich boxes are made of plants and are compostable. They must be disposed of with general waste so that they can decompose and not with cardboard recycling.

Section 7: Walking your dog in the countryside

Why do I need to keep my dog on a lead in the countryside?

The world of wildlife is mostly invisible to humans, with plants and animals that may spend their entire life hidden from our eyes. The secret world of birds that nest on the ground is one that our canine companions with their more powerful senses are especially good at finding, and the birds raising their chicks can be very sensitive to being disturbed. To protect the invisible, please keep your dog on a short 2m lead when wildlife will be raising and protecting their young families.

Additionally, the spring months across the countryside are accompanied by the traditional sights and sounds of young farm animals, such as bleating lambs gambling happily in the lush grass. Cows and sheep will be pregnant or suckling young across the Peak District. Dogs must be on a short 2m lead around farm animals, especially at this crucial time of year. If you ever feel threatened by cattle when out with your dog, then let go of the lead as the cattle are more likely to be interested in the dog. Help our countryside to be productive farmland as well as a home for wildlife by taking the lead.

In some areas of the Peak District National Park, you will be asked to keep your dog on a 2m lead all year round to help keep designated and protected areas like Dovedale National Nature Reserve, a haven for wildlife and for people. Help keep you, your dog, wildlife and others safe by following our signs that you see in the landscape and if you are asked by our staff or volunteers to put your dog on a lead, please follow their instruction.

What about dog mess in the countryside?

Please be a responsible dog owner and set a good example to others by cleaning up after your dog – bag it, bin it and if there’s no bin please take it home.

Section 8: Professional/non-professional filming and photography

For any commercial photography or filming please contact the filmoffice@nationaltrust.org.uk. For any student photography/filming projects or non-commercial photography/filming projects wanting to film/take photos on land looked after by the Peak District National Trust, you must first contact peakdistrict@nationaltrust.org.uk to have your project approved and a agreed contract in place. You can help support us to look after the places in our care by donating to our 'Woods of the Future' Peak District Appeal - thank you.