Free walking is the simple act of accessing the outdoors which the planet itself has given us. For hundreds of years, the aristocracy and landowning elite have tried to wall off and sever the English public from vast swathes of what was once ‘Common Land’, often brutally displacing them from their homes and livelihoods in the process.
To do this in over 90% of England involves “trespassing”, despite the fact that just over the border in Scotland, the Right to Roam is enshrined in law following the 2003 Land Reform Act. Recently the Conservative government has announced its intention to criminalise trespass through the notorious Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. This will have disastrous consequences for people across the country, especially for those most marginalised from the land such as Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities who this bill deliberately targets.
Through free walking, we acknowledge the right of all people to access land which once belonged to everyone, and envision a society where the Right to Roam is a fundamentally respected freedom.