How do I know where it’s OK to camp?

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Buckshot

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Jan 19, 2004
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at the end of the day all land is owned, so if you go onto someone else's land in England or Wales (excepting a few special cases) without permission you are in the wrong.
it doesn't matter if you think the landowner should or shouldn't be doing.
The landowner is in the right and therefore holds the cards.
there's no point in complaining if you decide to break the law.

It's like a house burglar complaining he was cut on the window glass when he broke it!
 

Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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Regarding the ‘forgotten’ places, I was once tasked with obtaining permission to cut trees heavily encroaching on power lines. It was like banging my head against a brick wall, door knocking, chatting to locals. I eventually got the company I worked for to shell out for a proper land search and it turned out to be church owned. The church owned everything down to 200ft below ground. Any minerals, water, everything. There were reams of paper detailing it all, it took months to get a permission agreed, even they didn’t know they owned it. You could have built your own house on that land and nobody would have been the wiser.
 
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Broch

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Yep, mineral and fossil rights are often owned by a completely different person or organisation. The mineral rights for all the land around here, even the NRW forestry, is owned by Powys Estates. When NRW started extracting stone from an old quarry in one of the forests, to use on the tracks, they had to stop because Powys Estates were going to charge them! Even though our land is freehold the mineral and fossil rights belong to PE; don't tell them about the lovely trilobite I found a few years ago :)
 

lostplanet

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Although slightly off topic, it may be worth pointing out to people reading this that trespassing onto someone's land with an air rifle (although not a firearm) is classified as armed trespass and is treated as a very serious criminal offence.
Is carrying or using a knife or axe regarded as Armed Trespass?
 

lostplanet

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Is there a website or a book that lists where I can pitch a tent for the night? I’ve heard stories of disgruntled land owners turfing people out for pitching in their fields and woods.

Is there a definitive way to know that you’re allowed to camp somewhere?
I dont know the rules regarding camping at the moment, but If you are looking at getting out in Kent have a look here: https://badgellswoodcamping.co.uk/
 

WittyUsername

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Oct 21, 2020
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Thanks everyone. There’s too many replies to quote individually but I’ve read them all and looked at the links. Much appreciated.
 

punkrockcaveman

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Jan 28, 2017
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at the end of the day all land is owned, so if you go onto someone else's land in England or Wales (excepting a few special cases) without permission you are in the wrong.
it doesn't matter if you think the landowner should or shouldn't be doing.
The landowner is in the right and therefore holds the cards.
there's no point in complaining if you decide to break the law.

It's like a house burglar complaining he was cut on the window glass when he broke it!

I agree with everything you are saying. Except the word 'right' should be changed with the word 'legal' ;)

Because in reality no one owns anything.
 
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Buckshot

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Fair enough :)
my was trying to answer from the point of the English/ Welsh legal framework

Your 'no one owns anything' point is definitely a separate thread topic!
 
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lostplanet

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Thinking about this, If you look from the landowners perspective(not so Big national parks and such), who would you allow to use your land and feel comfortable with them doing it? if I had someone turn up at my door with a fairly detailed Plan of what you would like to do, why you want to do it, who would be with you, how many times a week, safety aspects etc, then you could get to discussing it pretty quickly and probably find some common ground.
 
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punkrockcaveman

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Fair enough :)
my was trying to answer from the point of the English/ Welsh legal framework

Your 'no one owns anything' point is definitely a separate thread topic!

Haha yes definitely for a different thread!

Your answer was very good btw I wasn't knocking it, it's going to keep all those that read it on the 'legal' side of the law :thumbsup:
 

fenix

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Jul 8, 2008
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Thinking about this, If you look from the landowners perspective(not so Big national parks and such), who would you allow to use your land and feel comfortable with them doing it? if I had someone turn up at my door with a fairly detailed Plan of what you would like to do, why you want to do it, who would be with you, how many times a week, safety aspects etc, then you could get to discussing it pretty quickly and probably find some common ground.

People forget that farmers and pet controllers are often out and about at night, quiet often with rifles and lamps or NV. People turning up where they are not expected can be extremely disconcerting, especially if you about to pull the trigger on a fox or rabbit.
 
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Broch

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People forget that farmers and pet controllers are often out and about at night, quiet often with rifles and lamps or NV. People turning up where they are not expected can be extremely disconcerting, especially if you about to pull the trigger on a fox or rabbit.

I'm sure you mean 'pest' controllers :)

But, on a serious note, one should make oneself aware of the rights of Gamekeepers before trespassing!
 

slowworm

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May 8, 2008
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People forget that farmers and pet controllers are often out and about at night, quiet often with rifles and lamps or NV. People turning up where they are not expected can be extremely disconcerting, especially if you about to pull the trigger on a fox or rabbit.
I understand what you're trying to say, but if you're shooting you should be sure of the backstop regardless. In this day and age you may well get people deliberately trying to get in the way as well.
 

SoldierPalmer

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Dec 10, 2015
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As a Land manager I see the unfortunate side of things. Litter mess and hectares of forestry lost due to fires. I know many people do use the forests and do it right. The issue with this as a land manager you do not see this because people have left no trace. As you only ever see the mess that is left as evidence of camping.
This is why there is such a negative vibe to camping.
Again it comes under the age old minority have ruined it for the majority as it’s easier to just hold a blanket ban on camping.
 
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Broch

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Again it comes under the age old minority have ruined it for the majority as it’s easier to just hold a blanket ban on camping.

I'm not sure I have your faith in mankind; I suspect those of us that care are in the minority. I may be wrong, but after decades of wilderness camping, I have seen some horror stories and even people that I would expect to know better behaving badly.
 

SoldierPalmer

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Dec 10, 2015
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What I should really have said is that the majority don’t leave their homes unless it’s a lockdown then they all come out.
Most people I have come across are fairly sensible but you do get groups of teenagers which are the most common for leaving a mess or a half hacked tree. I have come across the odd shelter and set up that looks like it has been lived in full time then abandoned quickly.
Its the cost and time it takes to clean these areas up people don’t think about.
 

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