RIGHT TO ROAM CAMPAIGN 24 APRIL
Who owns our land? England and Wales have some of the most extensive land ownership of any country in the world with only 8% of the countryside being available for members of the public to walk on. This wide-spread land ownership originated with the Enclosures Act and between 1604 and 1814 some 6.8 million acres of previously common land was put into private ownership.
Down the generations this has perpetuated and widened the class divide exacerbating the rich-poor inequalities in our country and driving the Climate and Ecological Emergency. The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, recently proposed a Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill seeking to turn what was previously civil law regarding private property ownership into criminal law, thus giving further protection to the wealthy elite restricting the access for the majority of us to the countryside. During the last year of pandemic lock-down, freedom to roam in nature has been one of the things critical to many people’s mental and physical well-being.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) is supporting the Right to Roam Campaign by carrying out a mass trespass on 24th of April 2021. This coincides with the 89th anniversary of the trespass on Kinder Scout in the Peak District, which kindled a national movement that gave rise to the National Trust. Follow this link to find out all you need to know about taking part in this action or organising your own action. No criminal laws will be broken and it is very unlikely that civil cases will be pursued by the landowner – it’s just not worth it for them.
In true XR style, and in accordance with our principles and values, this action will be peaceful, non-confrontational and most definitely non-violent. XR aims to leave no trace on the countryside other than their footprints. Where we see litter or rubbish we will even pick it up and tidy it away. So get together with family, friends or your local group in your bubble or socially distanced and enjoy a lovely walk in the countryside to fight for our rights.