Trespassing: Who Does Our Land Really Belong To?
On the 24th of April 1932, the Famous Kinder Scout Trespass Took Place, 90 Years On and Another Group Has Taken to the Land in Protest
The Kinder Scout Trespass saw a group of workers assemble and recruit members for a Ramblers’ Rally on Kinder Scout – the highest point of the Derbyshire Peak District. At that time, Kinder, and much of the surrounding area, was kept exclusively for grouse shooting by its owner the Duke of Devonshire. The rally resolved to challenge this.
The ramblers believed that anyone should have access to walk across the land and countryside that no one should own or exclude others from simply wanting to walk across the land in the country they call home. The rally resulted in arrests, prison sentences, and a mass call for change. And, many credit the trespass for shaping the rural access we enjoy today.
However, 90 years later, another group staged a mass trespass on the private land of Lord Dyson in protest of current landowners and the new trespass bill. Currently, in the UK, the public has access to less than 10% of the land. And, aristocracy owns 30% of UK land. Of the entire population (almost 70 million people) just 50 people own 12% of the country.
On top of all of this, the government want to make the act of trespass a criminal offence: it’s currently only a civil offence. If the new bill goes ahead, people could face prison time if they happen to trespass onto certain areas of the land.
The group who staged this mass trespass on Lord Dyson’s land did so by claiming that “he’s a billionaire businessman who also happens to be one of the UK’s top landowners, with 25,000 acres ‘belonging’ to him. To put it simply, no one needs or should own that much land and money.” (@taltakingpics, Instagram)
The group were trespassing in solidarity with all those fighting for land rights and justice around the world and in resistance of the ruling class who continue to strip the majority of their rights and freedoms.
For more information, visit http://whoownsengland.org.