‘Much less room for pheasants, extra room for peasants!’: As much as 200 protesters trespass on Duke of Somerset’s non-public property in Devon to demand extra public entry to land
- The ‘mass trespass’ kicks off a month of motion for an prolonged proper to roam
- Campaigners argue extra privately owned land must be opened to ramblers
- Berry Pomeroy Fortress woodlands is utilized by the Duke for pheasant capturing
- Regardless of being closed to the general public, the Totnes property receives taxpayer subsidies
- In 2020, official information exhibits the Duke of Somerset obtained £30,000 for ‘conservation’
- It comes after the federal government shelved a overview into extending the correct to roam
A ‘mass trespass’ via a restricted property used for pheasant capturing in South Devon right this moment has kicked off a nationwide collection of protests for a larger proper to roam.
Proper to Roam, a marketing campaign group that wishes to see extra non-public land made accessible to walkers, has picnicked and paraded via the Duke of Somerset’s South Hams property right this moment in what marks the start of a month-long nationwide marketing campaign.
‘Nature must be accessible for all’, the protest group’s web site reads.
It continues: ‘Our rights of entry must be prolonged to woodlands, all downland…and the Inexperienced Belt land that would give so many extra individuals in cities and cities easy accessibility to nature.’
The stroll noticed as many as 200 protesters meet at 1pm earlier than parading via and picnicking in Berry Pomeroy Fortress woodlands, owned by the Duke of Somerset John Seymour, whose title is on the title deeds of round 2,800 acres of land in Devon and three,400 in Wiltshire, in response to Totnes Occasions.
In the present day round 200 ‘Proper to Roam’ protesters paraded via Berry Pomeroy Fortress woodlands, owned by the the Duke of Somerset John Seymour, as they agitated for larger land entry for ramblers
Berry Pomeroy Fortress woodlands is a part of the Duke of Somerset John Seymour’s sprawling non-public property, which incorporates round 2,800 acres in Devon and three,400 in Wiltshire
The Duke obtained near £30,000 of taxpayer subsidies in 2020 alone for ‘forest, environmental and local weather providers and forest conservation’ on his Totnes property, in response to an evaluation of public information performed by The Massive Problem.
It comes after the federal government shelved a overview into the correct to roam final month, with the Treasury saying the English countryside is a ‘administrative center’, which already gives ramblers with ‘a whole bunch of hundreds of miles of public footpaths’.
The transfer to double down on proper to roam delineations specified by present laws got here regardless of the shelved report, performed by Lord Agnew, having promised to create ‘a quantum shift in how our society helps individuals to entry and have interaction with the outside’.
Man Shrubsole, a Totnes-based campaigner who joined the Proper to Roam march right this moment, complained that enormous quantities of personal woodlands exclude ramblers and are used ‘as an alternative for releasing and capturing pheasants, a non-native species of sport chicken’.
Mr Shrubsole instructed The Massive Problem: ‘Common entry to nature is important to individuals’s bodily and psychological well being, but a lot of England’s countryside is shut off behind fences and intimidating indicators.
The Totnes department of the nationwide Proper to Roam marketing campaign group started their ‘mass trespass’ at 1pm, stopping for a picnic alongside the best way, earlier than wrapping issues up at round 4.30pm
The Duke of Somerset John Seymour, who makes use of his Berry Pomeroy Fortress woodlands for pheasant capturing, obtained £30,000 of taxpayers’ cash for ‘conservation’ work carried out on his Totnes property in 2020
‘Many woodlands – like these owned by the Duke – are off-limits to the general public as a result of they’re brimming with pheasants put there for just a few days’ capturing, with massively detrimental impacts on the setting.’
Mr Shrubsole continued: ‘Isn’t it time huge landowners made rather less room for pheasants, and a bit extra room for us peasants?’
The marketing campaign group argues that the liberty to roam, codified into legislation in 2000 by the Countryside & Rights of Method (CRoW Act), doesn’t go far sufficient – with solely eight % of English land presently accessible to the general public for strolling.
Whereas present legal guidelines permit a proper to roam over sure landscapes (mountain, moor, commons and a few downland, heath, and coastlines), the marketing campaign group believes this entry must be prolonged nonetheless additional – bringing England into line with nations like Scotland and Norway, the place ramblers have far fewer limitations.