£20 to wild camp?

Robin

Moderator
Staff member
my biggest issue with it is all the proposed locations on the website seem to promote open fires. if people use this as a bridge to wilder higher elevation areas then taking with them the idea that fell side fires are a good thing can only end badly

Especially on the moors in dry weather as we have seen over the past couple of years. Toilet etiquette is another concern.
 

Padstowe

Thru Hiker
We can but hope there's some educational level behind it & not just throwing people in a field & saying work it out for yourselves. It would be a shambles if the latter but with the former as someone whose major majority of holidays as a kid was those camping with cubs & scouts due to the low cost being all that could be afforded really, I can only find the price disagreeable.
Am suprized at the attitude on here given that a fair amount admit to only getting back into camping not so many years ago, less than or not much more than a decade for alot of people's first "wild camp" as it reads to me, but yet seems to be an attitude of no more people on the hills please.
I can't get that, maybe I don't have to, just know I don't wanna.
edit: We all hate seeing a mess & practical education more than theoretical is the best way to stop this imo. I don't know what the plans for this business are, nor the people involved to be able to say how business smart they are, but even a fool like me can see that expecting someone to pay £20 isn't going to create alot of revenue if any, but applying for somekinda funding with an educational basis at a cost of £20 per person might?
 
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Nigelp

Section Hiker
It’s not a glowing review. Let’s hope that between now and September the scheme flops badly and is quietly shelved.
 

Enzo

Thru Hiker
I think Chris has it for me.
Agree with @Padstowe though that's it's uncharitable to want to exclude others from something you enjoy. But I think it's common to prefer a feeling of wildness that isn't enhance by crowds.
I know the two things that I hear putting people off going out are axe murderers and the illegality/ confrontation with landowners.
Both vanishing rare of course but fears are driven more by the availability huristic than an accurate map of reality.
 

Nigelp

Section Hiker
They should then rebadge the scheme and call it a ‘basic camp experience’ and make it clear that you are staying on a site close to the road. There are numerous camp sites that offer a basic camping experience that people can try including ones on the South Downs Way. £7.50 gets you a water tap, toilet and not much else.
 

Enzo

Thru Hiker
A better idea all round for me would be a small investment in say 20 or 30 10 x 10m plots scattered along the national trails, much like the Amberley site. No water/ toilets etc.
 

Nigelp

Section Hiker
A better idea all round for me would be a small investment in say 20 or 30 10 x 10m plots scattered along the national trails, much like the Amberley site. No water/ toilets etc.


That could work. I’d more readily donate to that. Or the funding is used to help landowners set up informal sites with a compost toilet and a tap. Like many do now!
 

Baldy

Thru Hiker
A better idea all round for me would be a small investment in say 20 or 30 10 x 10m plots scattered along the national trails, much like the Amberley site. No water/ toilets etc.

But that would be an invitation to have a toilet area. Most people would head for the nearest discreet spot leading to quite literally a bog.
No middle ground for me. If it's wild it's wild. If a campsite and you're paying, decent facilities,
 

Robin

Moderator
Staff member
I guess the problem with even offering basic camping facilities is that the providers might run into Health & Safety and legal liability issues given how regulated and litigious society has become. It will only take one case to blow it up. The danger is that it might give impetus for NPAs to restrict or discourage true wild camping and possibly an impetus to for legislation. There must be a temptation for some marketing whizz at an NPA to introduce a permit scheme. Hopefully nothing will happen. In any case, it’s almost impossible to police effectively.
 

Enzo

Thru Hiker
There are lots of potential problems with an Amberley type site. Most I think are side stepped by having the sites at least a mile from a road. Permanent residents are an issue. But the walk would put most off. Last sdw meet there were a couple of guys who looked like they were living there. They seemed fine and I wouldn't have a problem with that use. The Amberley site has a compost area that gets used as a latrine. Seems to work OK as long as the area is big enough and people are up with LNT ethics.
If I ever won the lottery I'd do it. Less likely to happen as I don't do the lottery....lol
 

HillBelly

Section Hiker
It appears they have suspending the operation following feedback. Seems like they have got the message - re: organised wild campsites rather than wildcamping, and have come clean that its not a government scheme but has just had Defra seed funding. More info over at TGO
 

Robin

Moderator
Staff member
It appears they have suspending the operation following feedback. Seems like they have got the message - re: organised wild campsites rather than wildcamping, and have come clean that its not a government scheme but has just had Defra seed funding. More info over at TGO

Thanks for posting that.
 

Dan Outdoors

Trekker
About ten years ago there was an e-petition to give campers in England and Wales the same rights as Scotland. From what I remember, there was fair bit of discussion about the legality or otherwise of wild camping under existing laws. I’m not a lawyer and my memory may be faulty, but I think under trespass laws it’s not actually illegal to camp on someone else’s land, but you do have to move on if requested and you can be prosecuted for not doing so or for any damage to the land. When I read around the subject, it seemed to be the opinion that unless there was verifiable, serious damage, it would be very difficult and potentially expensive to secure a prosecution..


You'd be correct that wild camping is a civil not criminal matter, it only becomes criminal if you refuse to move on after being requested.
 

dovidola

Thru Hiker
You'd be correct that wild camping is a civil not criminal matter, it only becomes criminal if you refuse to move on after being requested.

In point of fact (in England and Wales at least) it still doesn't become criminal if you refuse to move, but the owner (or agent) is entitled to use reasonable force to evict you. This is because while simple trespass is not 'illegal' (in the sense of being a criminal offence) it is nonetheless 'unlawful' (a different thing), which is why you can be sued for the trespass at civil law.

There are certain forms of criminal trespass recognised and punishable by the criminal law. Far too many to go into here, but (in brief) more common examples would include:
- residential trespassing on land with vehicles
- trespass on land with a firearm/weapon of offence/poaching equipment
- trespass on educational premises
- trespass on railway land
- trespass on restricted military land
- trespass with intent to steal
- 'raves'
- groups of people trespassing in order to disrupt lawful activity

As always where UK hiking is concerned, bear in mind that Scots law is in independent entity and fundamentally different from the law of England and Wales.
 

PhilHo

Thru Hiker
In point of fact (in England and Wales at least) it still doesn't become criminal if you refuse to move, but the owner (or agent) is entitled to use reasonable force to evict you. This is because while simple trespass is not 'illegal' (in the sense of being a criminal offence) it is nonetheless 'unlawful' (a different thing), which is why you can be sued for the trespass at civil law.
AFAIK, in civil law, they still have to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that you did actually trespass. Which means that 1. They need to know who the person is to take action against and 2. Need to show that you did something that caused them a loss of some kind.
 

dovidola

Thru Hiker
AFAIK, in civil law, they still have to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that you did actually trespass. Which means that 1. They need to know who the person is to take action against and 2. Need to show that you did something that caused them a loss of some kind.

Quite correct, although that's about the practicalities of pursuing a possible legal action rather than the legal position itself. It's just my opinion, but I think it would be fair to say that landowners and their agents are at something of a disadvantage in that, as you point out, they are generally going to struggle to ascertain a trespasser's identity, but there's seldom any real difficulty identifying a landowner (because s/he is 'tied' to an identifiable piece of land). While I'm not saying that's a good or a bad thing of itself, my concern is that if, with increasing numbers of 'trespassers' plus a few high-profile 'regrettable incidents', landowners perceive a growing problem they can't deal with, then the law will be amended to change what at present is, in my view, a reasonable balance of interests/rights/duties and a workable modus vivendi.

I'm convinced that the less regulation we can have, the better it will be for this pastime that we so cherish. Sadly, I expect the reverse will be the case, and schemes like this (thankfully aborted for the moment) £20-a-night-special-offer are going to accelerate that process.
 
In point of fact (in England and Wales at least) it still doesn't become criminal if you refuse to move, but the owner (or agent) is entitled to use reasonable force to evict you. This is because while simple trespass is not 'illegal' (in the sense of being a criminal offence) it is nonetheless 'unlawful' (a different thing), which is why you can be sued for the trespass at civil law.

There are certain forms of criminal trespass recognised and punishable by the criminal law. Far too many to go into here, but (in brief) more common examples would include:
- residential trespassing on land with vehicles
- trespass on land with a firearm/weapon of offence/poaching equipment
- trespass on educational premises
- trespass on railway land
- trespass on restricted military land
- trespass with intent to steal
- 'raves'
- groups of people trespassing in order to disrupt lawful activity

As always where UK hiking is concerned, bear in mind that Scots law is in independent entity and fundamentally different from the law of England and Wales.

Yes and we need to keep an eye on any tightening of laws such as this - regarding our civil rights - to wild camp and other things - its already escalated in the last couple of decades.

Sometimes legislation brought in on the back of irresponsible occupiers, but also resulting in an impingement of our rights to peacefully protest and so forth.

"Groups of people trespassing in order to disrupt 'lawful' activity - sounds OK until you realise that means anti frackers, rendition flight disruptors, forest protectors, cruise missile refuseniks, treasured greenspace preservers, oil pipeline or windfarm objectors, and so forth - are all potentially at risk of hefty jail terms for exercising their democratic rights to peacefully object to questionable yet 'lawful' activities.

AFAIK, in civil law, they still have to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that you did actually trespass. Which means that 1. They need to know who the person is to take action against and 2. Need to show that you did something that caused them a loss of some kind.

So really not a problem for your 'average' wild camper.
Its only going to cause a problem where there are large groups hanging about, lighting fires, breaking trees etc.


I'm a firm believer in 'the shared commons' in relation to all our land.
In terms of ownership,

Just because a legal document confers ownership I don't have the right to misuse, corrupt, or despoil that land, or its associated air, water, or resources.

Nor do I have the right to use force against a person to persuade them to move, if they're simply sitting on it quietly existing.

Tbh if someone parks their tent at the top of the hill here late evening, and moves off in the morning, we probs wouldn't even notice.

Hardly likely to be problem on a remote fell.
 

PhilHo

Thru Hiker
40 years ago I camped in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. At 6am a team of Gendarms came through the area where we were camping with maybe 50 other tents. We were women by a Gendarm banging on a tent pole with a gun. Never packed up and moved on so fast. The point is if you are wild camping and someone who appears to have some authority tells you to move on you're unlikely to argue.
 
40 years ago I camped in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. At 6am a team of Gendarms came through the area where we were camping with maybe 50 other tents. We were women by a Gendarm banging on a tent pole with a gun. Never packed up and moved on so fast. The point is if you are wild camping and someone who appears to have some authority tells you to move on you're unlikely to argue.

Especially if they have a gun :eeker:

But that was a fifty tent scenario - not a small backpacking tent or two in the middle of nowhere - were you holding some kind of unofficial jamboree Phil??

Its unlikely that any landowner is going to persuade the local plod to shift a few campers off their scrubby bit of pasture.

The most that's likely to happen - so long as you're not damaging anything - is they will want to be assured that you are moving soon - or they might even be friendly - be up for a chat - and really not mind that much if you stayed another night - if you seem like a reasonable human being.

We're not all miserable trigger happy "Get off my landers" by any measure - some of us are even quite nice, and like to see people enjoying the countryside... :angelic:
 
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