Jul 31 2007

Fuedalism Alive and Well in Britain

Published by at 8:58 pm under Controversial Discussions

A young friend of mine, named Jon is now being cut off from moving around on the estate where his father works. Their house is surrounded by the estate, so he is now really confined to walking on the roads and their own lawn. He is very much into outdoor life and crafts and is very responsibly behaving towards the environment. If he or anyone else in his family trespasses his father risk loosing his job.

I try to avoid posting things with political content, but I find this really appaling. I consider it the right of every human to be able to move around in their surroundings.


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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Fuedalism Alive and Well in Britain”

  1. Pabloon 02 Aug 2007 at 10:04 pm

    I’ve been following the thread as well. This is a huge disappointment and a sad reflection on the way landowners treat people in Britain. As if we haven’t enough restrictions in this country as it is. I feel really sorry for the lad.


  2. Andyon 26 Oct 2010 at 10:42 pm

    I know what you mean. close minded fools. Jon probably does more to tend the land than the owner.

  3. Shugon 10 Jul 2014 at 9:58 am

    Living in what is currently Britain (hopefully not after September), it isn’t just as easy to generalise the laws. Scotland has it’s own laws, such as that there is no such thing as trespassing. The only way you could be charged for any offence relating to it is either by poaching or property damage. The Scottish Government further simplified the knowledge by releasing the outdoor access code, to clarify to both land owner and user what the dos and don’t are.

    This could be furthered if Scotland regains it’s independence through the proposed land reform act.

    I cannot speak for the laws in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, however there is growing pressure to allow access from various groups.

  4. Chris McBrideon 21 Feb 2017 at 11:11 am

    Much of Britain is a seriously overcrowded country. With the exception of a few parts of West Wales and some larger areas in the North West of Scotland, there is so much pressure on land use that many landowners have long since adopted a highly restrictive mentality. Scotland has attempted to solve this problem with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, which does allow excellent freedom of access,* and also gives landowners rights to deal with visitors who don’t treat the land with respect. Sadly, there has been extensive resistance from landowners to such a code being adopted in England and Wales. Unlike Scotland both of these countries have almost no unenclosed land, and laws there give much more restricted access to open country.

    Here in England, most people are many many generations distant from genuine rural living — by which I mean living which depends on use of, and care for, the resources of the landscape itself. My partner and I run a smallholding which includes 9 acres of young woodland; we have never refused access to anyone who asks, and appreciate the interest that people take in the grazing, planting and wild areas that we have established in an area which is predominantly intensively farmed for arable crops. Many people thank us for access by helping with annual tasks of woodland maintenance, willow cutting, tree planting etc. In this way we provide at least some kind of meaningful connection to the land for some primarily urban people. Small groups of campers and bushcrafters are definitely welcome. Unfortunately, it is necessary to check who is accessing, because the general standard of understanding of, and respect for, the land here is very low indeed. For example, all our effort to create a woodland which is largely left to wild plants and animals is not compatible with plastic litter, abandoned disposable barbeques used on the ground (our peat soil is flammable in dry weather!) and random vehicle access. Loose dogs around our livestock and horses are also very much not appreciated.

    I’m so sorry to hear that Jon, whose website I have benefited from extensively over the years, has suffered from such access restrictions. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have understanding neighbours who permit access to their land, and I can basically wander anywhere I want within a few hours’ walk. But I’m very aware that if their land was sold a new owner might take a different attitude. I don’t believe that there is anywhere in England that I would be able to assert any kind of legal right to roam in this way. All I can say is, if you’re back in England, Jon, you’re welcome to come and stay here for a while.

    Best wishes

    Chris McBride

    * Tragically, Scotland is able to offer so much open land for access because during the nineteenth century, absentee landlords were legally permitted to remove most of the population of large areas of the Highlands, for the creation of deer parks and wide-scale sheep grazing. This is the only area of mainland Britain where the population is significantly lower now than it was 150 years ago.

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