The Book of Trespass

mercalia
Posts: 14000
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

The Book of Trespass

Postby mercalia » 10 Aug 2020, 10:27am

A rather long article by a man who does it deliberately but some useful and interesting information by the way


Forgive us our trespasses: forbidden rambles with a right-to-roam campaigner

The law excludes ordinary people from 92% of English land, but that doesn’t stop activist, artist and writer Nick Hayes


Capture.JPG


https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/aug/09/forgive-us-our-trespasses-forbidden-rambles-with-a-right-to-roam-campaigner?

User avatar
simonineaston
Posts: 3411
Joined: 9 May 2007, 1:06pm
Location: Live & work in Briz'l

Re: The Book of Trespass

Postby simonineaston » 10 Aug 2020, 10:35am

Yeah - I read that. Quite inspiring!
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

pwa
Posts: 12695
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: The Book of Trespass

Postby pwa » 10 Aug 2020, 11:47am

Perhaps it is just in the nature of this topic, but I get confused about what exactly we are talking about. In particular, the so-called Right to Roam is about wandering freely in any direction, but there are also Public Rights of Way crossing privately owned land on which there is no Right to Roam. Where I live there is a lot of privately owned farmland with no Right to Roam, but Public Footpaths criss-cross the area so I don't feel excluded from the countryside. I could (and sometimes do) wander off line to avoid a patch of nettles or a herd of cows, but I return to the legal Right of Way because that is where I am "meant to be" and where I am going to find the next stile or gate. Where I am walking, more often than not, is on private land, and I feel relatively free while I am doing it. I don't usually feel repressed, frustrated or kept down, except on the rare occasions when an obstruction has been put in my way.

How one feels about this stuff is going to be highly influenced by where one lives, and I am lucky enough to live in a place where access to the countryside is pretty good. A few miles away we have the hills, with their combination of private farmland (some obstructed PROWs), Forestry Commission (go anywhere you like so long as you give the loggers space to work) and open moorland (do as you like, in practice). We have extensive coastal nature reserves with long beaches, dune systems and scrub land, again fully open to walkers. And the lowland farms are covered with a mostly good network of Public Footpaths, though few bridleways. I use these areas with little thought to who owns them. But for this to be an issue, things must be different in other places.

Pete Owens
Posts: 1889
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: The Book of Trespass

Postby Pete Owens » 10 Aug 2020, 5:18pm

It comes down to a fundamental philosophical question.

By what right does one individual have to exclude the rest of humanity from any particular part of the surface of the planet?

pwa
Posts: 12695
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: The Book of Trespass

Postby pwa » 10 Aug 2020, 5:45pm

Pete Owens wrote:It comes down to a fundamental philosophical question.

By what right does one individual have to exclude the rest of humanity from any particular part of the surface of the planet?

Very few of us would argue that everyone has a right to access every inch of the planet. Nearly everyone will claim exclusivity to their own garden, for example. How big does your garden have to be for that to be unreasonable?

Jdsk
Posts: 2224
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: The Book of Trespass

Postby Jdsk » 10 Aug 2020, 5:46pm

Pete Owens wrote:It comes down to a fundamental philosophical question.

By what right does one individual have to exclude the rest of humanity from any particular part of the surface of the planet?

Yes, the argument doesn't get very far unless you address this.

Jonathan

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 49796
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: The Book of Trespass

Postby Mick F » 10 Aug 2020, 5:53pm

We have three acres.
Anyone is welcome to visit and walk around ............. so long as they ask us nicely.

What we don't want, is people walking willy-nilly and thinking they have a "right to roam".
Mick F. Cornwall

Cyril Haearn
Posts: 14161
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am
Location: Leafy suburbia

Re: The Book of Trespass

Postby Cyril Haearn » 10 Aug 2020, 7:50pm

Tree acres, that is quite a lot
Have you set out paths and benches to rest, maybe a pond?
If you tolerate or invite people on to your land, do you have a responsibility to ensure their safety?
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB, 30120
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

Pete Owens
Posts: 1889
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: The Book of Trespass

Postby Pete Owens » 10 Aug 2020, 8:59pm

pwa wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:It comes down to a fundamental philosophical question.

By what right does one individual have to exclude the rest of humanity from any particular part of the surface of the planet?

Very few of us would argue that everyone has a right to access every inch of the planet. Nearly everyone will claim exclusivity to their own garden, for example. How big does your garden have to be for that to be unreasonable?


This is a different question.

I am not disputing the fact that some people do claim exclusiviity to parts of the planet (or rather a small number of people claim exclusivity to pretty much all of it) - whether that is a garden or a county. What I am asking is by what right do they feel entitled make such a claim.

Ellieb
Posts: 873
Joined: 26 Jul 2008, 7:06pm

Re: The Book of Trespass

Postby Ellieb » 10 Aug 2020, 10:36pm

I believe it is called private property. Just like owning a bike.
Before people get too excited by this subject. Right to roam works pretty well in Scotland & has done for some time. (Albeit Covid related staycationing seems to putting it under pressure at the moment)

Tangled Metal
Posts: 7004
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: The Book of Trespass

Postby Tangled Metal » 10 Aug 2020, 11:02pm

I claim that you guys should not have exclusivity to your bikes. In fact tell me where you live so I can come along with bolt cutters, angle grinders and take your bikes for a ride.

While we are at it, I want right to roam where you're house is, can I either knock it down and return the land to nature or simply walk through your house?

But you have very little land and Mr Megabucks has a shootload of land, but how does quantity mean less rights to owning property? You either take more property/money means less rights or it means the same rights that you have.

Personally I don't like the idea that people, corporations and governments can own more land than they strictly need but I can't see how to reconcile rights we have for our little patch of land and the rights of say that Danish clothing magnate who has bought up vast swathes of Scotland. Admittedly his aims are for the benefit of wildlife.

I also don't see an issue over access. Where I live there's loads of footpaths I can walk on. There's whole areas of open land I can roam on. I do not feel that I am constrained by land others own. However I've made a conscious decision to line where I have that luxury. North Lancashire might never give me that lucrative career but it gives me more important things like countryside I can roam. I can walk out of my front door and I'm on a canal towpath in minutes and 5 to 10 minutes I'm able to roam across the countryside on footpaths that give good views. Indeed 5 minutes from home I can see deer, otters, water vole, swans, and a whole lot more. There's Badgers, foxes, buzzards too. I can drive 20 minutes and see hen harriers hovering in summer. Peregrine falcons nesting, marsh harriers, bitterns, weasels, stoats and courtesy of stupid animal libbers the North American mink.

There's a huge amount of wildlife near me and land I can walk across. I love wandering without a plan or route worked out. Following any little trail I cross on a whim. There's freedom within the current system but that's if you're away from large centres of habitation, especially London and the congested South East England.

Pete Owens
Posts: 1889
Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: The Book of Trespass

Postby Pete Owens » 11 Aug 2020, 12:52am

Ellieb wrote:I believe it is called private property. Just like owning a bike.

No it is not just like owning a bike. You can't simply claim that because we apply property rights to some things then we should apply property rights to everything.

Bikes are the product of labour - if someone makes something then the right to own it or sell it to someone else is legitimate. The land was here before we arrived and it will still be here after we have gone - we just inhabit it temporarily.
Before people get too excited by this subject. Right to roam works pretty well in Scotland & has done for some time. (Albeit Covid related staycationing seems to putting it under pressure at the moment)

Yes, Scotland now has a more civilised approach to this (approaching that of Scandinavia), but then in Scotland there is the fairly recent folk memory of absentee landlords expelling the human population from large tracts of the land to make way for sheep - whereas south of the border the population takes a rather more servile attitude the aristocracy - forgetting that they are just the descendants of a bunch of heavily armed thugs who arrived in Hastings nearly a thousand years ago.

pwa
Posts: 12695
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: The Book of Trespass

Postby pwa » 11 Aug 2020, 8:25am

Pete Owens wrote:
pwa wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:It comes down to a fundamental philosophical question.

By what right does one individual have to exclude the rest of humanity from any particular part of the surface of the planet?

Very few of us would argue that everyone has a right to access every inch of the planet. Nearly everyone will claim exclusivity to their own garden, for example. How big does your garden have to be for that to be unreasonable?


This is a different question.

I am not disputing the fact that some people do claim exclusiviity to parts of the planet (or rather a small number of people claim exclusivity to pretty much all of it) - whether that is a garden or a county. What I am asking is by what right do they feel entitled make such a claim.


That sort of right is cultural, not a universal or God-given thing. It is part of our culture that we can have private land and say who can and cannot access it. It is pointless trying to look deeper for some sort of philosophical basis for that because that is not how these customs arise.

Another right we have in our culture here in the UK is the right to use Public Rights of Way across privately owned land, something you don't find everywhere in the world. There is no intrinsic or God-given reason that "right" exists, but I am glad we have it. I think we are a better nation because of it. I used to visit my parents when they lived in the Republic of Ireland where the countryside does not have Public Footpaths, and the lack of access to the countryside really struck me. As someone who loves walking I couldn't wait to get home to Wales. We just kept to the roads in Ireland and private land really was private. These limits on access are national customs rather than human rights.

reohn2
Posts: 39825
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: The Book of Trespass

Postby reohn2 » 11 Aug 2020, 9:09am

Pete Owens
Spot on!
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 3471
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: The Book of Trespass

Postby Bmblbzzz » 11 Aug 2020, 9:55am

Pete Owens wrote:You can't simply claim that because we apply property rights to some things then we should apply property rights to everything.

This is true.