The great Dartmoor storyteller Martin Shaw delights in the mythic depths of the rebellion this weekend in Devon
I agree this is a travesty, but then England is locked into an essentially feudal politics of land ownership (as well as a feudal political system). But don’t confuse England with Britain. In Scotland we have some of the most enlightened access legislation in Europe, including the right to “wild camping”.
Wild habitats are being degraded, there's a 70% decline in native species, some are endangered. Moorlands need less pressure, not random camping, they are a fragile habitat, moorland bird and animal species are shy and subject to disturbance, nutrient enrichment from human waste degrades the moors further, non moorland plant seeds are introduced from peoples clothing, dogs fur, boot and tyre treads. Some of the degradation can be prevented if people keep to recognised paths and there are restrictions as to where they can camp.
All wild campers want are freebies, they don't want to contribute to an area, just take, if they want to camp go to a campsite, where there are toilets, parking places and rubbish bins, they won't because they have to pay.
I'm someone who supports a number of conservation organisations with deeds not words, for the last 50 plus years I've taken part in surveys, of all types of wildlife and plants. I do not subscribe to the weirdos who regard the countryside as a boost to their ego entertaining a lot of tourists with myths and legends
My politics are well left of centre and I can't be bothered about the royal soap opera, the lacky of hedge fund managers, I'm not.
Unfortunately some people who visit the countryside are anti social louts, parking on private land, driving off road, lighting fires, lighting disposable barbecues on picnic tables scorching them, leaving litter and excrement, letting dogs run loose.
Having worked as a countryside ranger most of my life, I've had to deal with such behaviour on a regular basis, I've been assaulted, spat at, and sworn at,just for asking people to behave in a reasonable manner.
With the right to roam comes the responsibility of behaving properly. If people go out in a town and drop litter, or generally behave in an anti social manner, then you would expect consequences.
I support access to the countryside, I have lived in the countryside most of my life, I'm a reasonably competent field naturalist and spend a lot of time out and about. However some areas are at bursting point and anti social behaviour by some is causing problems, it is not just up to rangers and wardens to make sure people behave, rangers would much prefer to "help and enhance" peoples visit.