21/02/13 Fort 21

‘Mum, would you ever give me a row for something I didn’t do?’

‘Of course not, darling…’

‘Great – I didn’t do my homework…’

(Dandy annual – circa 1975)

It’s with a similar disregard for the rules that I find myself camped inside – what I believe to be – an old Stone Age (ish) fort.

Having rambled through the picturesque village of Allonby – a settlement with acres of coast hugging picnicky parkland with lots of nooks and crannies that would be ideal for parking ones tent.

Ideal apart from one thing – the big signs saying “NO CAMPING’.

In Scotland I’d encountered such signs once or twice – but had treated them with the disdain they deserved because IN SCOTLAND WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO ROAM!

Which means one can park ones tent where one wants as long as it’s more than 20 metres from residential buildings….unless it’s a bit too close to a decommissioning nuclear plant – where you can expect a visit from the terrorist police…but hey, that’s in the past.

Instead of trespassing they use the criminal damage laws. You can roam pretty much anywhere as long as you don’t break it.

In England we have what is called the right to roam – which essentially means we can walk on countryside paths….

I did find a bit on the interweb that referred to sticking a tent up – the advice was to put your tent up in the dark and, yes, you’ve guessed it, take your tent down in the dark..

WE’RE FREE I TELL YOU – FREE!!

Tempting though it was to camp right next to one of the prohibitive signs, I decided to move along – something will come up, it always does…

And so it did – in the shape of the circular fort 21.

Nowhere does it say I can’t put my tent up.

I’m fairly close to the road to Maryport – I like the idea of hiding in plain sight.

I can’t help but think ‘What’s the Harm?’

Sure, I could be the tip of a literal iceberg of campers foolish enough to put up in minus 4…but that’s not very likely…

Even in the summer I can’t see the Woodstock that the powers that be fear would ever materialise.

If they leave litter lying around – fine them – if they set fire to the environs – likewise.

Maybe there’s a general fear that we’ll follow the example in the States where tent cities are seen as a real solution to homelessness…

Maybe I’m just whinging because I feel I don’t have the right to romp about the place like I did in Scotland…

Alternatively, we might find there are swathes of folk who don’t know the law and, if I speak with enough authority, they’ll believe anything I say?

Let’s see.

Walk a Mile

Chris

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