Saturday, 1 March 2008

Wild Camping

I haven't really blogged about the wild camping campaign, other that posting about the new website and a link to the petition site.

After two things that have happened this week; I 've decided to post about wild camping.

First, let me say that I am in favour of the petition.

The first thing was a news item that appeared in some of the red tops and the London locals.

This story was about swans being taken and eaten by asylum-seekers along the River Lea in East London.

These asylum-seekers apparently live in makeshift tents, on land which is part of the 2012 Olympics site; while waiting to be housed.

Now it seems and though a lot of people are up in arms about the taking of these swans and the Police and RSPCA are to investigate.

On one of the online reports of this, there are comments left by people. All the comments are about how cruel it is to kill the swans and how these asylum-seekers should have more respect for the birds and this Country.

So that does this have to do with wild camping?

Well there isn't one mention of the camp being illegal in any of the reports I can find. So does this mean that the General public and the media don't really care about people camping on land that they shouldn't be on.

In the last few years I have see asylum-seekers/immigrants camping in some of the parks in London; mainly Hyde and Green Park. These people are normally there early morning and gone throughout the day but reappear at night especially through the winter months.

If the authorities are letting this type of camping go on, then surely the type of wild camping we wish to do is never going to be severely challenged legal or not.

The second thing was while I was doing some work for the wild camping petition in work. Some of my co-workers saw the petition poster and were asking questions about it.

As usual the biggest problem was convincing them that we are not looking to camp in their garden.

It does seem as most people think that we are looking to camp in parks and on waste ground.

Comments like "if you legalise wild camping, people will be camping in the parks and fields all around us" "We have had trouble with travellers camping in the fields across from were we live" "we'll have the immigrants camping in the woods all around here".

What people don't understand is that we don't want to camp in their gardens, in parks or on waste ground; we want to be able to camp up on a fell or mountainside and appreciate a glorious sunset or sunrise. To be out on the fells with a feeling for the Countryside, not to be out there to destroy it.

Mass illegal camping has been happening for years and there are laws already in place for it; what we are look for is the ability to camping in small or individual groups away from the crowds.

The good news is as of 12:21 today the e-petition has hit 700 signatures.

1 comment:

  1. The Solitary Walker1:30 pm

    Don't get me wrong - I want hassle-free, responsible wildcamping in suitable, wild places - of course, we all do. And I've signed the petition in fact. But it has occurred to me that if we make such a huge song and dance about it so that it becomes a big, public issue, I can understand why some people might think that it's a greener light for the 'irresponsible' members of our community... I notice Chris Smith was extremely keen to avoid this contentious issue in his otherwise excellent podcast with Andy Howell!