On 24th July 2021, we held a mass trespass in Pangdean Bottom, on the Brighton Downs. Together we roamed across a landscape owned by Brighton Council yet forbidden to us by pheasant shooting landowners. We were guided by poetry, music and speeches and came together for a wonderful picnic, where we celebrated our downland and one another’s company.
This is in the tradition of the 1990s campaign of peaceful mass trespasses that were organised to support government proposals for a limited right to roam in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000) and in the tradition of the both the famous Kinder Scout mass trespass of 1932 and the mass trespass on Winter Hill in 1896, which attended by 10,000! https://tribunemag.co.uk/2021/09/remembering-winter-hill-britains-biggest-mass-trespass
Beautiful photos of our trespass by Curtis James, Kim Turner, Anna Montanari, Dominic Alves, and Landscapes of Freedom.
Landscapes of Freedom hosted a well-attended webinar on the Right to Roam in Sussex and the importance of access to land across England, where over 90% of all land is in private hands and off-limits to the general public.
The land which once belonged to us all has been carved up by the rich and powerful, whose wealth has only boomed at the expense of those most marginalised and made poor through enclosure, slavery and colonialism. We want to campaign for a landscape of freedom for all, where EVERYONE has the Right to Roam.
Speakers in the webinar:
Nick Hayes – Illustrator and author of: “The Book of Trespass – Crossing the Lines that Divide Us.”
Beans on Toast – popular Hastings-based British folk singer and storyteller
Kelly Smith – The Sussex leader for Black Girls Hike UK, an organisation dedicated to “providing a safe space for Black women to explore the outdoors”
Guy Shrubsole – Campaigner and author of: “Who Owns England?: How We Lost Our Green and Pleasant Land, and How to Take It Back”
Anna Selby – Poet and naturalist
David Bangs – Campaigner and author of: “A Freedom to Roam Guide on the Brighton Downs”