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Requesting information

We are committed to promoting understanding of our activities and regularly publish a range of information about Dartmoor and the work of the Authority –see the Authority's publication scheme.  We will do our best to provide you with any information held by us you ask for, provided that there is no legal or other restriction on disclosing it to you.

There are three specific and separate legal rights for you to make a formal request for information:

  1. Environmental Information Regulations
  2. Freedom of Information Act 2000
  3. The Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities on Data Transparency 
  4. Data Protection Act 1998

The Environmental Information Regulations

The Environmental Information Regulations allow the public to request a wide range of environmental information from public authorities including DNPA. The request can be made by letter, email, telephone or in person. Environmental information is divided into the following six main areas:

  • The state of the elements of the environment, such as air, water, soil, land, fauna (including human beings)
  • Emissions and discharges, noise, energy, radiation, waste and other such substances
  • Measures and activities such as policies, plans, and agreements affecting or likely to affect the state of the elements of the environment
  • Reports, cost-benefit and economic analyses
  • The state of human health and safety, contamination of the food chain
  • Cultural sites and built structures (to the extent they may be affected by the state of the elements of the environment)

If a public authority receives a request for information on any of the areas mentioned above, they are legally obliged to provide it, usually within 20 working days. There are a number of exceptions to this rule - for example, if the information is likely to prejudice national security - and if this is the case, the public authority must explain why the exception applies.

If you want copies of information you think we hold, and which does not seem to be available already, then please complete and return a Request for Information Form PDF icon (PDF Help 7kb)  Forms are also available from us at Dartmoor National Park Authority, Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9JQ (telephone 01626 832093) email hq@dartmoor.gov.uk

If you need any advice on your request, or you are unhappy with our response, please contact the Head of Legal & Democratic Services at

Dartmoor National Park Authority, Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9JQ telephone 01626 832093, email hq@dartmoor.gov.uk).

If you remain unhappy with a refusal to disclose information, you can complain to the Information Commissioner, after first exhausting any internal review procedure. The ICO will investigate the case and either uphold the Authority's decision or rule that the information must be disclosed.

The Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (external link, opens new window) provides individuals or organisations with the right to request information held by a public authority, including DNPA. You can do this by letter or email.

The public authority must tell you whether it holds the information, and must normally supply it within 20 working days, in the format requested. However, the public authority does not have to confirm or deny the existence of the information or provide it if an exemption applies, the request is vexatious or similar to a previous request, or if the cost of compliance exceeds an appropriate limit (currently £450).

A wide range of information is published through the Authority's publication scheme. Please check here before making a formal request for information.  This has been approved by the Information Commissioner's Office, and is a commitment by a public authority to make certain information available, and a guide on how to get it.

If you want copies of information you think we hold, and which does not seem to be available already, then please complete and return a Request for Information Form PDF icon (PDF Help 7kb);  Forms are also available from us at Dartmoor National Park Authority, Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9JQ (telephone 01626 832093) email hq@dartmoor.gov.uk

When we receive your request we may have to contact you to clarify some of the details. If we already publish the information you require, we will tell you how to find the information for yourself. If it's held by us, we will copy the information you need if we can and provide it to you in your preferred format.

For some large search and copy requests, we may need to charge a fee to cover our costs, in which case we will tell you how much the fee will be, to let you decide if you want us to continue. On occasions there may be some information we cannot release to you. In this case we will provide what we can and the reason why there is some information missing.

If you need any advice on your request, or you are unhappy with our response, please contact the Head of Legal & Democratic Services at

Dartmoor National Park Authority, Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9JQ telephone 01626 832093, email hq@dartmoor.gov.uk

If you remain unhappy with a refusal to disclose information, you can complain to the Information Commissioner, after first exhausting any internal review procedure. The ICO will investigate the case and either uphold the Authority's decision or rule that the information must be disclosed.

The Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities on Data Transparency

In September 2011 the Department for Communities and Local Government introduced the Code of Recommended Practice for Local Authorities on Data Transparency (External Site, Opens New Window).  The code sets out key principals for Local Authorities in greater transparency through the publication of public data.  The code applies to all Local Authorities, including National Park Authorities.

The code sets out a list of public data which should be released as a minimum requirement.  Our approach to complying with the code is to make this public data available through our existing online publication scheme.  It is our intention to achieve  the routine publication of more data, where possible, to enhance accountability to the public.

The Data Protection Act 1998

The Data Protection Act 1998 gives individuals the right to know what information is held about them. It provides a framework to ensure that personal information is handled properly.

The Act works in two ways. Firstly, it states that anyone who processes personal information must comply with eight principles, which make sure that personal information is:

  • Fairly and lawfully processed
  • Processed for limited purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • Accurate and up to date
  • Not kept for longer than is necessary
  • Processed in line with your rights
  • Secure
  • Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection

The second area covered by the Act provides individuals with important rights, including the right to find out what personal information is held on computer and most paper records.

The Authority has adopted a Data Protection Charter which sets out what you can expect from us when we handle your personal information. 

If you wish to make an enquiry about your personal data, please submit a Subject Access Request Form PDF icon (PDF Help 12kb); Forms are also available from us at Dartmoor National Park Authority, Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9JQ (telephone 01626 832093) email hq@dartmoor.gov.uk

If you need any advice on your request, or you are unhappy with our response, please contact the Head of Legal & Democratic Services at

Dartmoor National Park Authority, Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9JQ (telephone 01626 832093) email hq@dartmoor.gov.uk).

If you feel that you're being denied access to personal information you're entitled to, or feel your information has not been handled according to the eight principles, you cancontact the Information Commissioner's office for help. Complaints are usually dealt with informally by the ICO, but if this isn't possible, enforcement action can be taken.

Page last updated: 06 Jan 2011