I’m hoping that this thread will help to set out guidelines for people who may be interested in wild camping.
Permission to camp
Some countries have a right to roam, which may include the right to engage in activities such as camping. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_to_roam
There is no comparable legal right in Ireland.
Most land in Ireland is privately owned. Permission is needed to camp on private land.
Personally, I don’t see a lot of point in camping on farmland, for the most part. It’s not usually scenic or interesting, and if you don’t have permission, you will be trespassing. If necessary, Gardai can be called to move an illegal occupant of land.
Mountainous areas are likely to be privately owned commonage lands, held by a number of common owners. Depending on the particular circumstances, there may be no objection to camping in these areas, provided that no mess or trouble is caused, and you don’t stay long. However, if asked to leave, it would be best to do so. I think that the reality of the situation is that although there is no ‘right to roam’ in Ireland which would permit hiking and camping on private land, farmers and landowners often turn a blind eye to people coming onto these mountainous areas. This informal access to certain lands may be part of the reason that the government has taken no action to impose ‘right to roam’ type legislation in this country.
Some land is owned by the State. This could be Coillte land or the National Parks. Most foreshore is also owned by the State.
Here is what Coillte has to say about wild camping:
Written permits are needed for groups of more than ten people, campfires, or during the period from 1st September to 28th February.
With regard to the National Parks, some allow camping and some don’t. The rules of each park needs to be checked, and if in doubt, make contact.
The Wicklow Mountains National Park allows camping under certain conditions. Written permission is required for groups of more than ten people. Campfire permits are currently suspended. Camping in Glendalough is not permitted.
Ballycroy National Park allows wild camping.
As far as I recall, camping is not permitted in Killarney National Park.
Fires can be lit, with permission.
People may apply for a permit for a campfire on Coillte lands.
People may apply for a permit for a campfire in Ballycroy National Park. Campfires are not permitted in Wicklow National Park, currently.
Leave no trace policy
Camping Code for National Parks and Coillte lands
There is overlap between the Leave no Trace principles and the Camping Code principles but they are worth mentioning. This is the Camping Code from the Ballycroy National Park website:
1. If you leave your car parked in the middle of nowhere, it could be the target of thieves or vandals. Wicklow has a reputation for this. If you have permission to park your car in a farmer’s yard, great. You may be able to leave it in a pub car park. It can be a good idea to take a look at the ground in the car park. If you see broken glass, it could be that it is a place where break-ins happen. Maybe it would be safer to park somewhere else.
2. Sometimes when you arrive at an area which is suitable for camping, there may be clues as to the type of people who have been there previously. If there is rubbish and empty beer cans, it could be that young fellas will arrive to drink beer. You might want to consider moving on and finding somewhere else.
3. I think that it’s better to camp somewhere remote, well away from any public road. Few people would bother going out to a remote location in the middle of the night.
4. If you have a light on in your tent in the middle of the night, it will glow and will be visible from a distance. This should not be something to worry about too much, provided that you have chosen a safe location to camp in the first place.
5. Don’t cook inside your tent, due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
6. Use decent gear that will stand up to the circumstances and the elements. A tent that may be okay for sea level may not last five minutes on the summit of a mountain. Bring good waterproofs and enough warm clothes.
7. Bring a fully charged mobile phone in a good case.
All the info is great mustard thanks.
The only little bit id add to it is when camping or even just hiking for one day, make an itenerary and leave it with a family member or close friend who will raise the alarm after a check in time. If injured while treking and or lost you may count on rescue and the quicker the better if mountain rescue have a good refrence to start a search they're chances of finding you quickly go way up and given that hypothermia can set in in temperstures as mild as + 6 degrees celcius when your wet a quick rescue could mean the difference between life and death.
So it would seem that it is illegal in wexford !!
Sure there has been many a person do it though. Dont like the feeling of going to do it and have the possibility of someone telling us off.
Surely has to be a great resource and bring ppl down if things were clearer and more inviting. Don't particularly want to go to a park.