10/07/13 An Englishman’s home…

Have I mentioned it’s hot?

Having enjoyed the disused railway line – now footpath that allowed me to wander in the shade to the small coastal town of Arnside…

Insert your own Raymond Burr gags here (ask your parents)

…I was now left to the harsh, unsheltered floodplain that is the Morecambe Bay nature reserve.

Thanks to the lovely Ian I had discovered the delights of drop them in your water hydration tablets – giving me more energy.

No, I don’t care what’s in them…

As I wearied, I began to look for a place to plonk Marvin.

I found a little piece of waste ground just next to a babbling brook, under the shade of a tired old tree.

Perfect.

Except…

Well, we don’t have the right to roam in England, do we? So I felt a little nervy…it was a little exposed.

I slept through the night – except for a sit bolt right up in bed moment at a quarter past midnight when I heard a car stop nearby….

Then drive off…

That’s all right then.

7am, a cyclist pulled up next to the tent.

‘Did you ask the farmer for permission to camp here?’

He asked in a not too jaunty way…

‘Er, no, it’s kind of difficult to tell who owns bits of land – this could be owned by any of these 50 odd houses…’

I waved my arms about for effect.

‘It’s owned by the farm just behind those trees,’ roughly a kilometre away, ‘and the farmer really doesn’t like campers…’

‘That shouldn’t be a problem,’ I smiled, ‘I’ll be away soon…’

‘Hmmm…’ he said, and cycled off.

I was taken back to my young days when me and some friends rambled around the beautiful Rockingham forest.

Days where we giggled with fear at the prospect of the gamekeeper shooting us in the bartocks with salt pellets for the evil crime of trespass.

And back to those crazy far off halcyon days when I could put my tent up anywhere – albeit sensitively – in Scotland where the crime wasn’t one of trespass – but criminal damage. As long as I didn’t wreck the place – I was happy and the landowners were happy.

Why can’t we have that crazy, wild, hippy law in England?

Surely it’s nice to share?

It was not without a little narkdome that I packed up my flotsam and jetsam, leaving nothing more to mark my presence than a few bent twigs…

I stomped off, relieved to be honest that I hadn’t been found in a compromising position and been banged to rights.

As I walked though, I slowed and smiled.

Why did this passing cyclist know so much about this scratchy bit of land, who owned it and what they thought of campers?

Was this Lycra clad traveller really the farmer?

Why does it matter?

The case continues…

Walk a mile

Chris

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This entry was posted in hospitality, inequality, kindness, mental health, walking and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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