Author Topic: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK  (Read 6593 times)

Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #50 on: January 16, 2020, 12:13:35 pm »
They still regard themselves as members of the travellers community when it suits them.
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bludger

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Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #51 on: January 16, 2020, 12:31:20 pm »
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Never in the 20 years I have lived here have I found any objection to a passing cyclist or walker wild camping within this area.
So what reason is there to criminalise them?

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As for the suggestion that they could be confronted by a landowner with a loaded shotgun is just plain silly. No registered owner of a shotgun would dare risk pointing a loaded weapon at another human being in a threatening manner.
This is just outright factually wrong. Gun owners in this country and others have used weapons to intimidate, such as when Nigel Cox walked up to a minivan with hunt saboteurs and opened fire into the bonnet. He got a 3 year suspended sentence and a fine. Last year armed hunters digging up fox holes fired shotguns at a drone being used by hunt sabs ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiZRZXaIod4 ). See https://www.wildlifeguardian.co.uk/hunting/hunt-convictions/ for a more full list of instances of guns, whips, horses and knives being used to assault and intimidate. See also in the USA where people who are 'trespassing' are routinely threatened with guns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27K2kWq-jT0  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViDjt7Y379k

This criminalisation of us changes the game immediately. Gun owners will be able to tell the court that they 'felt threatened by criminal trespassers' and bore firearms for their own defence. This is a radical change in the law which affects all of us. I don't want anyone walking up on me with a gun that is clearly being borne in order to cause fear and to intimidate, let alone pointed at me.

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If this new law prevents this behaviour
That behaviour is already against the law. This is exactly the idea of this ghastly 'consultation', to use the guise of 'stopping the travellers' to criminalise what we've all been doing for decades. It's the thin end of the wedge, leveraging bigotry towards travellers.
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Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #52 on: January 16, 2020, 12:49:21 pm »
Yeah I've had a shotgun fired over my head (probably well well over but still) back when I was about twelve and then been chased by the farmer in his pickup truck.

My crime, cutting the corner of a field on our bikes (not a crop field and had bridleway along the two sides we connected anyway) and then cycling along a paved road that was officially footpath (and farmer's pickup truck) only. Apparently we were going to cause damage somehow.

Now I'm not saying we were in the right but rather a disproportionate response.
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bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #53 on: January 16, 2020, 12:52:21 pm »
It's about power and privilege, and you can look forward to a lot more of that kind of behaviour if this goes through. People getting a rush out of causing fear and terror from those taking leisure their own country. No different from the 'dangerous bull in field' signs you sometimes come across, put up specifically to intimidate.
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Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #54 on: January 16, 2020, 01:01:34 pm »
That behaviour is already against the law. This is exactly the idea of this ghastly 'consultation', to use the guise of 'stopping the travellers' to criminalise what we've all been doing for decades. It's the thin end of the wedge, leveraging bigotry towards travellers.

Yeah but not everyone follows the law.
It's not pragmatically effective to enforce, for example, littering a field, as you need to prove who did it and even if you can do that the sentence might only be a fine which wouldn't get paid.

The difference between the proposed law and the existing law, is the proposed new law allows for prevention rather than cure.

(bikepacker's post sums up my feelings (and the truth of the situation) exactly, probably better expressed than I would)

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Never in the 20 years I have lived here have I found any objection to a passing cyclist or walker wild camping within this area.
So what reason is there to criminalise them?

The point is to give the law sufficient teeth to make it effective.
In order to do that you may sometimes need to give it more teeth than it needs for all situations.

You appear to want the law to be hamstrung for fear it will be used incorrectly, and if anyone has their land ruined because of it, well tough - they probably deserve it for being "rich" enough to own the land in the first place.  :facepalm:


This is a radical change in the law which affects all of us. I don't want anyone walking up on me with a gun that is clearly being borne in order to cause fear and to intimidate, let alone pointed at me.
I think put simply you don't really have to worry about that if you aren't intending to be antagonistic or confrontational towards anyone or damage their property. If you're very worried about that you may have to ask whether that is your intention.

It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #55 on: January 16, 2020, 01:12:35 pm »
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The point is to give the law sufficient teeth to make it effective.
I'm sorry but if you think that lobbyists to criminalise 'trespassers' (and if you want to sleep for 4-5 hours somewhere off a road in England, that's going to be you) are doing it out of environmental concerns, I have a bridge to sell you. This is about enhancing their powers and privileges over the rest of us landless vagrants. The reason no one has bothered with this rot until we got this awful new government run by ghastly sociopaths is that it is completely unnecessary and out of proportion. The landowners want to be kept given their subsidies that come out from my pay packet, while being able to criminalise me for sleeping in a field for a few hours. It's outrageous.

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You appear to want the law to be hamstrung for fear it will be used incorrectly
No, I want to be protected from criminalisation and intimidation by armed landowners who hate people on 'their' land. Somehow my National Trust ranger colleagues didn't feel that 'trespassers' needed to be criminalised to keep their estates safe from spoilage. This is a spurious argument made up as a thin end of the wedge to curtail everyone's rights to the countryside.

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"If you're doing nothing wrong, you've nothing to fear!"
Factually wrong. The hunt sabs weren't breaking the law when the gun owner blasted their minivan while they were sat inside. You are breathtakingly naive. People hate 'trespassers' and cyclists particularly. Talk to enough people who've done long night time audaxes and they'll tell you stories about being threatened and intimidated for having done nothing wrong. I met someone who was dragged over to the side of the road by a policeman who lectured him for 30 minutes, as he shivered. You give an inch to any angle which can be used to persecute a cyclist or a rambler, and they'll take a yard. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/233644.stm https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/nov/21/jamiewilson
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Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #56 on: January 16, 2020, 01:23:14 pm »
We are discussing wild camping for perhaps just for one night in a quiet location. In that case I still stand by my earlier remarks regarding shotguns being fired at a human being.

Yes in the heat of hunt or similar situation they have been known to be fired at an inanimate object or into the air. I have been on a few hunt protests also protests against game shooting seen how situations can flare up and have also been threatened but never had live weapon pointed at me.

One extra thing Mathew stated this morning: Why would anyone wild camp when less that a mile away is a nice small campsite that charges £3 a night including shower and toilet facilities for backpackers and solo cycle-campers?
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Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #57 on: January 16, 2020, 01:25:29 pm »
Shall we just say that vandals did that and not denigrate the entire traveller community by association?

The vandals in this case were travellers, so why not say so?

The destruction described by bikepacker is a refection of what repeatedly happens up and down the country, and the perpetrators readily self-identify as travellers.  To try and deny either the destruction, trauma, cost and nuisance, or to avoid calling the culprits out, is a dangerous path to tread IMO.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #58 on: January 16, 2020, 01:26:32 pm »
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One extra thing Mathew stated this morning: Why would anyone wild camp when less that a mile away is a nice small campsite that charges £3 a night including shower and toilet facilities for backpackers and solo cycle-campers?

It is as simple as this: I don't want to. I don't have to pay up to sleep in my own country, or book ahead for the privilege. If I want to stop at 0130 in the morning for just a few hours in the middle of an audax then I'll do that. That's part of what I love about cycling.

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The destruction described by bikepacker is a refection of what repeatedly happens up and down the country
This claim is completely out of proportion.
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Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #59 on: January 16, 2020, 01:38:11 pm »

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The destruction described by bikepacker is a refection of what repeatedly happens up and down the country
This claim is completely out of proportion.

The 2 areas of the country I am familiar with - Bath (Avon) and Montrose (Angus) have both had travellers illegally pitching and causing damage and nuisance in the last few weeks, in both cases to public infrastructure (a park-and-ride site and a public links golf course).

Are you claiming that these are isolated incidents?

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #60 on: January 16, 2020, 01:41:23 pm »
Yes. It's no different to the 'scourge of the streets' hysteria. If only half as much attention was given to the environmental devastation wrought by the private 'land managers' across the country.

It's not 'gypsies', for example, who are accelerating the country towards eradication of its topsoil within half a decade ( https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/24/uk-30-40-years-away-eradication-soil-fertility-warns-michael-gove ). This is a side show at best.
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #61 on: January 16, 2020, 01:49:10 pm »
Personally, for the sensible cycling or backpacking wild camper I cannot see that this law will make one iota of difference. I state this as someone who has often wild camped and may continue to do so if my circumstances change.

I expect it helps to be a nice white middle class outdoorsy person on an adventure, rather than coming across as homeless, or the wrong kind of FOREIGN.  And then there's the attitude test.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #62 on: January 16, 2020, 02:07:34 pm »
You can label me however you wish it is of no consequence to me as you know so little about me. Try that for an attitude test.

 I will go back to the topic of wild camping and state over the last 20 years I have spent more nights in a tent on cycle tours than most on this forum, so I think that qualifies me to have a say.
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #63 on: January 16, 2020, 02:17:09 pm »
You can label me however you wish it is of no consequence to me as you know so little about me. Try that for an attitude test.

It's not about me labelling you (FWIW I was thinking of myself), it's about the land owner/tenant/caretaker/whatever or law enforcement person's first impression of the unexpected camper they come across.  Some people are going to get more benefit of the doubt than others.

I recall turning up unannounced at a small Dutch campsite.  The owner wasn't on-site at the time, but there were empty pitches, and one of the other campers phoned them for us.  He turned up a few minutes later, obviously flustered, and expressed his relief that the "two English people on bikes" were evidently cycle tourists, and not an advance scout party for Irish travellers, which he (or some associate, I can't remember) had previously had some kind of problem with.  I expect this relief and subsequent helpfulness would have been less forthcoming if we'd been on BSOs, wearing scruffy clothing rather than cycling kit, and less polite about the possibility of not being allowed to stay.

Our experiences of random strangers aren't universal, because they're inherently influenced by our appearance and demeanour.  There's no reason that interactions with land owners while wild camping are going to be any different in this respect than those with service providers, officials, oiks, and so on.
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bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #64 on: January 16, 2020, 02:25:58 pm »
Food for thought that being presumed to be a white middle class male (by far the predominant demographic among UK leisure cyclists - and it includes me) is taken as a slight, but denigrating 'gypsies' as an urgent criminal element doesn't seem to be raising any eyebrows...
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Cudzoziemiec

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Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #65 on: January 16, 2020, 02:31:51 pm »
Shall we just say that vandals did that and not denigrate the entire traveller community by association?

The vandals in this case were travellers, so why not say so
Because it draws attention away from their action to their 'group membership' and attaches the crime to that. Just like you never hear of 'a motorist' driving through a red light, it's always 'John Smith' but 'a cyclist' if it's someone on a bike.
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Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #66 on: January 16, 2020, 02:39:32 pm »
Shall we just say that vandals did that and not denigrate the entire traveller community by association?

The vandals in this case were travellers, so why not say so
Because it draws attention away from their action to their 'group membership' and attaches the crime to that. Just like you never hear of 'a motorist' driving through a red light, it's always 'John Smith' but 'a cyclist' if it's someone on a bike.

Because in this case the "travelling" is the heart of the matter - it's not an incidental or coincidental identifier.

Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #67 on: January 16, 2020, 02:40:33 pm »
We can debate labels and if or not we should identify any group with a collective label. But the reality of the situation is; those in caravan conveys that go on to property and create the vandalism, label themselves as 'travellers'.
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Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #68 on: January 16, 2020, 02:45:01 pm »
You’re trying to use the assertion “all of this damage is caused by travellers” to claim “all travellers are collectively responsible for this damage”.

Yet your supporting a change in law that cracks down on all travellers and likely has significant collateral damage to other people too.

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #69 on: January 16, 2020, 02:50:27 pm »
Shall we just say that vandals did that and not denigrate the entire traveller community by association?

The vandals in this case were travellers, so why not say so
Because it draws attention away from their action to their 'group membership' and attaches the crime to that. Just like you never hear of 'a motorist' driving through a red light, it's always 'John Smith' but 'a cyclist' if it's someone on a bike.

(Leaving aside the original question of whether this proposed legislation is actually targetting travellers, wild campers or someone/thing else.)

Because in this case the "travelling" is the heart of the matter - it's not an incidental or coincidental identifier.
In which case we're going about this from the wrong end. Why do travellers cause damage and what steps can be taken to enable travelling communities to travel in harmony with the settled communities they pass through?
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fboab

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Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #70 on: January 16, 2020, 02:56:43 pm »
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  Some people are going to get more benefit of the doubt than others.

Absolutely. I suspect people who treat privately owned land as public property are not going to be given much benefit, even before white & middle class starts getting applied.

This appears to be the fundamentals of bludgers point, they feel entitled. We should all know how that culture of entitlement makes use of the public highway feel, and I'm not sure there's much empathy for other land users going on from bludger.

Vandals are undoubtedly a subset of travellers. Litterers are unfortunately a subset of cyclists, and walkers. As a minority group, we ought to have empathy. As human beings, we should. And that means people trying to live their lives, however much you disapprove of how they do it. Antagonism and group think should always be challenged.

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Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #71 on: January 16, 2020, 02:59:30 pm »
Shall we just say that vandals did that and not denigrate the entire traveller community by association?

The vandals in this case were travellers, so why not say so
Because it draws attention away from their action to their 'group membership' and attaches the crime to that. Just like you never hear of 'a motorist' driving through a red light, it's always 'John Smith' but 'a cyclist' if it's someone on a bike.

(Leaving aside the original question of whether this proposed legislation is actually targetting travellers, wild campers or someone/thing else.)

Because in this case the "travelling" is the heart of the matter - it's not an incidental or coincidental identifier.
In which case we're going about this from the wrong end. Why do travellers cause damage and what steps can be taken to enable travelling communities to travel in harmony with the settled communities they pass through?

Have you considered the possibility that some elements of the traveller community don't want to "to travel in harmony with the settled communities", but would rather exploit society in any and every way possible, whether that be intimidating OAP's to have their drives re-tarmaced, fly-tipping residential waste, intimidating local communities with anti-social behaviour, avoiding paying taxes and generally sticking 2 fingers up to society, who they see not as the oppressor but as the gullible victim.

That being the case, any attempt at accommodation is likely to be futile and legislation is the obvious solution.  It really is self-inflicted.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #72 on: January 16, 2020, 03:04:15 pm »
Have you considered the possibility that some elements of the traveller community don't want to "to travel in harmony with the settled communities", but would rather exploit society in any and every way possible

Just like some elements of the settled community, then.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #73 on: January 16, 2020, 03:06:35 pm »
This appears to be the fundamentals of bludgers point, they feel entitled. We should all know how that culture of entitlement makes use of the public highway feel, and I'm not sure there's much empathy for other land users going on from bludger.
We are entitled. Cyclists have fought very hard to protect their entitlement to use the public highway, in the face of lobbyists who aggressively want us 'off the road.' Our forebears have been maimed, killed and locked up to win that entitlement and we would be fools to think it safe.
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Cudzoziemiec

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Re: wild camping to be made illegal in the UK
« Reply #74 on: January 16, 2020, 03:16:32 pm »
Shall we just say that vandals did that and not denigrate the entire traveller community by association?

The vandals in this case were travellers, so why not say so
Because it draws attention away from their action to their 'group membership' and attaches the crime to that. Just like you never hear of 'a motorist' driving through a red light, it's always 'John Smith' but 'a cyclist' if it's someone on a bike.

(Leaving aside the original question of whether this proposed legislation is actually targetting travellers, wild campers or someone/thing else.)

Because in this case the "travelling" is the heart of the matter - it's not an incidental or coincidental identifier.
In which case we're going about this from the wrong end. Why do travellers cause damage and what steps can be taken to enable travelling communities to travel in harmony with the settled communities they pass through?

Have you considered the possibility that some elements of the traveller community don't want to "to travel in harmony with the settled communities", but would rather exploit society in any and every way possible, whether that be intimidating OAP's to have their drives re-tarmaced, fly-tipping residential waste, intimidating local communities with anti-social behaviour, avoiding paying taxes and generally sticking 2 fingers up to society, who they see not as the oppressor but as the gullible victim.

That being the case, any attempt at accommodation is likely to be futile and legislation is the obvious solution.  It really is self-inflicted.
Yes. That's what I think is the case. Which is why I don't think it's "the heart of the matter" that they're travellers; the heart of the matter is what they do. It's dangerous to tar all travellers with the same brush just as it's dangerous to do the same with residents of a particular place.
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