If it ain’t broke…

Posted by @ 2:13 pm on Tuesday 24th June, 2008.

The wildcamping campaign's back in the limelight, and so are some of the old chestnuts...

Time and again we read things like "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", generally followed by something like "legalising it would only give license to the chavs/New Age travellers/vagrants to exercise their rights, causing disruption and spoiling it for everyone", and "lay-by campers leave piles of beercans/rubbish/excrement all over the place, it's a mess".

Can people not see that the the spoiling chavs/New Age travellers/vagrants/lay-by campers get away with it, and get wildcampers a bad press, BECAUSE it's broken?

Define wildcamping and support it with the law, then enforce the law. With such a definition, chavs/New Age travellers/vagrants/lay-by campers wouldn't fit into it, therefore the powers that be can discriminate according to the law.

How simple is that? It's hardly rocket-science, is it?

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10 Responses to “If it ain’t broke…”

  1. Martin Rye says:

    I was shocked by how many people don’t care about the petition over at the Trail forum. It is a challenging place to get a debate at the best of times. Any way the petition is good, the cause worthy and your point gets my vote.

  2. Kev says:

    The Trail "forum" is more a platform for the vocal majority who instinctively resist any deviation from the status quo. I just find it depressing.

  3. Baz says:

    Meanwhile, there's a fresh petition for Wales as per notice here.

  4. Martin Rye says:

    You know the old saying…united we stand divided we fall….Over at Doodlecat they have a breakdown of the numbers of population etc and compared it to the numbers who registered on the petition. So when we can not convince the Trail members to get on board how do we convince the Police Sta…..sorry Government of the need to make legal wild camping in England and Wales. If the walking, climbing, and general outdoor bodies like the Ramblers, BMC etc mobilise on mass there is a weight of force behind the argument. If not we are seen as an irrelevant small voice that does not need to be heard.

  5. Martin Rye says:

    PS, BG your done a great job in trying to make it happen. Thanks from me.

  6. John Ridd says:

    I think you need to accept that with only a few thousand votes you are an irrelevant voice.
    I have been quietly bivvying and high camping for 30 years without trouble including in the New Forest. Why involve the law in this- if you want to wild camp be discreet, make camp late on in the day, and leave before 9 or 10. Get away from the roads, leave no trace particularly litter, select a site on flat ground next to a Tarn or stream so you cannot be seen from the valley, don't make a din, don't use a dayglo orange tent, don't go up in large groups and you can camp anywhere. Park wardens rarely go out at night looking to move campers on and farmers(all the ones I have met are decent blokes) tend not to roam the hills at night. I have the right to travel where I wish in this country provided I do not cause damage. Why not focus on the duties of hill walkers eg littering rather that on unneeded rights....ISFA

  7. BG! says:

    Hi John, welcome.

    Thanks for your advice, apart from the bit about the tent-colour I'm in agreement with what you say, and I too have 30 years of experience at it.

    A few points, though...

    1. Why should I have to wildcamp furtively and potentially be at odds with the law/landowner? Like you say, we have the right to travel where we wish in this country provided we do not cause damage. Why not extend that right? I mean, if we're all doing it right anyway, what have we got to lose or to fear? It's the spoiling chavs/New Age travellers/vagrants/lay-by campers who should be worried by the law/landowner, not us.

    2. Why should a lack of support in law dictate my choice of tent colour?

    3. As for "Why not focus on the duties of hill walkers eg littering rather that on unneeded right..." a) who said it's an "either/or" choice? Can we not do both? b) I don't agree that it's unneeded, but I respect your right to your opinion. c) In Scotland, wildcampers now have rights - do they "need" them? If those rights were to be taken away, do you thing that they would just roll over and play dead? No, I suspect that the outcry would be immense.



  8. John Ridd says:

    Stick to your guns Stef.
    Myself - Although I do not like to think ill of my fellow man I retain a nightmare vision of noisy crowds lugging crates of stella and a barbi up to what I have come to regard as 'My' secret wildcamping sites. I know that this is unworthy and that the nightmare will probably never come about even with legislation because as we both know , it is bloody hard work to get up high.
    Waking up of a crisp sunny morning, breathing that sharp air,fascinated by the pin sharp contrast revealing every contour of the rock architecture is such a nourishingly deep pleasure that would be lost by sharing these place with others lacking in consideration. I know these are ignoble views but part of our motivation is to experience the silences and get away from other people. ISFA

  9. BG! says:

    IMO, anybody that drinks Stella deserves to feel the full force of the law. It's fake beer, and the users and suppliers should be rounded up and made to atone for their sins.


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