The right to roam land and shore, ‘but for the sky, no fences facing’

9 thoughts on “The right to roam land and shore, ‘but for the sky, no fences facing’”

  1. It’s a joke really. The last time I wandered out over Salisbury Plain to photograph an Iron Age Fort – (yep, that’s part of our common historical heritage) I was buzzed along footpaths there and back by an enormous dark green, twin rotor army helicopter. When I arrived at the isolated, windswept Iron Age site a private security van appeared from nowhere and two uniformed figures stepped out and scrutinised my every movement. They then sullenly studied me as I left, then when I was out of view I heard the van rev up and angrily roar off in a scatter of flying grit and pebbles. What a lovely day out in the English countryside: yeah, it’s a bit of a joke really :-|

  2. Fascinating and thrilling video nivekd, better than anything on TV, best reality show I’ve ever seen. Anyone know the outcome of this? With regard to rights of way, its as if we are being funneled and channeled into certain selected areas where the ‘hoi polloi’ must be herded like sheep. Problem is that the majority of people will not be aware of the underbelly of all this and how much it has slipped into place over the years and creeps through unnoticed and unheralded and the consequences of it are completely lost. As long as the shops are open on Sundays, the milkman calls and the x factor winner has big tits, many people won’t care or give a toss. Maybe I’m too cynical, but the older I get I do see this terrible divide between reality and the dreamworld many people live in, a world full of promises and myths that those in power are happy to see subdue the majority; soma for the masses. I don’t say I am immune, I participate more than some, less than others. But whilst doing my lowly job, I simply see and hear that people do not have a clue how fragile our systems of government; finance; legal; environment and food/water supply chains really are (as a matter of fact I doubt if i truly do) and stuff like this is just so remote from them. But now and whilst there is the internet, knowledge is power and if it can help transform countries and overthrow rogue governments, then we have a chance of slowing down the erosion of liberties here and even reforming some. Years ago none of this awareness would have been possible and the rate of change far too slow to alter anything. I just hope we are raising enough children to have the capacity to think for themselves, question everything and as Joseph Campbell said, ‘Don’t do what Daddy wants’. Follow your own path, whatever the cost.

  3. And then there is the North American First Nations view of land ownership:
    “What is this you call property? It cannot be the earth, for the land is our mother, nourishing all her children, beasts, birds, fish and all men. The woods, the streams, everything on it belongs to everybody and is for the use of all. How can one man say it belongs only to him?” (Massasoit), or even more succinctly “One does not sell the land people walk on.” (Crazy Horse). I would maybe think these were romanticized visions from the past if I hadn’t lived in several Oji-Cree communities in Northern Ontario quite recently and, in conversation with elders, come across the same incomprehension of “white people’s” belief that land can be someone’s private property. In Poland on the other hand, when I arrived here 15 years ago there was hardly a fence to be seen in the countryside and it was easy to walk wherever one wished especially as the traditional field boundary is a flat topped bank not a hedge, wall or fence and makes a good footpath. Now along with so many other negative imports from “the west” chain link fences and “no entry” signs are beginning to scar the farmland. We still have the forests and if someone tried to stop Polish people from their annual ritual of roaming in search of mushrooms and blueberries there would surely be an outcry ……. Thank you Gerry for another fantastic and inspiring read – it makes me want to go and rip down a few fences.

    1. I hadn’t until you drew my attention to it. Unfortunately it appears to be out of print. Amazon are offering a Paladin paperback edition for £24!

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