Land access - seeking and finding permission

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nic a char

Settler
Dec 23, 2014
591
1
scotland
Some years ago I camped at a Forestry Commission site, who allowed fires, but only in a stove or other suitable receptacle. Since then I don't do camp fires - just rocket/stove fires - makes sense.
 

Whittler Kev

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 8, 2009
4,312
8
62
March, UK
bushcraftinfo.blogspot.com
Just learnt loads from A McQ vid about open access land in England and Wales (he does Scotland and Ireland as well in other vids) and where to find it ...Thought I'd share and you can find OS type maps here if your too tight like me to buy one goodjob

[video=youtube;qbaVVoqSR6g]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbaVVoqSR6g[/video]
 
Jun 20, 2015
5
0
London
Hi all,

I'm investigating buying & opening up a piece of land in the UK that is for people to wild camp in (small tents, tarps & natural shelters only) for a small charge. To go with this I was thinking of having a simple shack with a few necessities for sale as well as a communal campfire & some free daily bushcraft workshops (later i was thinking of opening a small field archery area on the land too). My main problem is working out where in the UK to buy & what problems people have when they are learning/practicing bushcraft.

Anyone interested? and where are you?

kindest
Mark
 

mousey

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jun 15, 2010
2,210
253
39
NE Scotland
A little while ago my son who is in the cubs was invited to a scout meeting at their regular place, I stayed on to help as did 3 or 4 other parents all the kids had a great time making shelters, tying tarps up, cooking marshmallows etc. I enquired of the cub leader if it would be possible for me to camp at this site and if he had contact information for land owner. He didn't but gave me contact for the scout leader who also works on the land for the owner.

I contacted the scout leader to ask for the land owner's contacts and to see what he thought, he immediately shot me down and denied all possible access, I was quite taken back as he's not even the land owner! After a bit more research I've found contact information of the land owner and I'm contemplating contacting him, as it's his land he's got the say over who uses it or not, I have been thinking of drafting a letter rather than knocking on his door and this thread has bee a good source of information for me - just wanted to say thanks :).
 

mrcharly

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 25, 2011
3,246
33
North Yorkshire, UK
Hi all,

I'm investigating buying & opening up a piece of land in the UK that is for people to wild camp in (small tents, tarps & natural shelters only) for a small charge. To go with this I was thinking of having a simple shack with a few necessities for sale as well as a communal campfire & some free daily bushcraft workshops (later i was thinking of opening a small field archery area on the land too). My main problem is working out where in the UK to buy & what problems people have when they are learning/practicing bushcraft.

Anyone interested? and where are you?

kindest
Mark
From the experience of friends who ran something similar, you will need to take a few things into account.

Campfires; regular fires can very very quickly strip an area of dead wood. That's not good for woodland. It can be much better to arrange for deliveries of logs from a local firewood supplier. If you provide a chopping block then kids can be entertained for hours chopping (under supervision) wood. Using a maul and wedges is safer than kids swinging axes.

Sanitation; consider putting some effort into proper composting toilets. 'Proper' ones can be pretty rustic, but you need to watch out for ground and surface water contamination.

Archery is brill, doesn't require much of a backstop.
 

little_leaf177

Tenderfoot
Oct 24, 2011
98
0
Liverpeewwll
Hi Guys.. I know one of the guys at Militarymart in ormskirk said they might have acquired some land that could be bushcraft enthusiasts to do a bit of camping... Might be worth getting in touch with them if your around that area...

Cheers
Little_leaf177
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,462
2,429
S. Lanarkshire
If it were your land….what would you be prepared to listen to ? what kind of impression would you think kindly on of someone ? what kind of recompense would you find useful ? and what kind of access would you be prepared to give ?

I think if you can give fair reply to those and structure your approach around them, then the rest is up to good luck really.

M
 
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Dec 18, 2016
2
0
Lancashire
This has been a really useful thread for me, I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to contribute to it, I learned a lot !! Thank you !

I'm off now to track down the owners of a couple of amazing woodlands near where I live, which I think may end up being United Utilities, so I hope they have a sympathetic public relations dept :rolleyes:

Dave F
 
Last edited:
May 2, 2017
6
0
Lichfield
Thanks for this article. Very informative. I have started doing some research so hopefully I can start approaching land owners in the near future. :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
May 28, 2017
3
0
Chorley
I've found this thread quite interesting seeing what other peoples experiences are with getting permission to overnight on specifically owned land. Who'd of thought that a night under the stars off the beaten track could be so problematic! I used to get permission to stay in a nature reserve but I did contribute to the upkeep of the area. Sadly where I am now would not be that clean cut as the land is utilities owned!
 
Oct 18, 2015
6
1
51
wigan
Hey Tim

thanks for the sympathy... it seems our great little island has now been sold to the highest bidder. I served in the forces for 24 years and toward the end of my time (2010) the so called "training Areas" I had trained on for many years (Salisbury plain, Otterburn, Springfields and many more) all had huge restrictions on, no more digging shell scrapes, no more digging latrines, and even no more over night harbour areas where a platoon would rest up and practice important field admin. These where MOD owned areas and the MOD where being lectured on what they could and couldn't do on their own land. At the time we all thought "bloody tree huggers" however that would have been a blessing in disguise the real fact behind it was at government level greedy ministers where already planning the sale of these areas, not to land owners or not even giving it back to the tax paying public but selling it off to real estate developers and oil owning Arabs for their private use ....... great hey! Sadly UK is screwed weve been sold out by our own greedy ministers and shunned from enjoying our own countryside. Admittedly some people have abused it and deserve no less but for the best part we should be able to have access to these areas it breaks my heart. Hope NZ and OZ never let this happen they are two wonderful countries with wonderful wilderness they you all should be allowed to enjoy.

regards Phil Martin
 

Jaeger

Full Member
Dec 3, 2014
670
20
United Kingdom
Aye Up,

You may be correct in some instances Janne and if so that might not be such an issue as at least it still belongs to this country but if philmatuk is even only partly correct and the land has been sold off to overseas buyers that is appalling.

You are right that this is bordering on 'political' and I agree with the BCUK site ethos that we should avoid getting into debates about it as it usually causes division (when I was in HMF discussion over politics, religion and football :lmao:! was taboo in a barrack block for the same reasons) but I would lay money that at some point in the (distant?) future this site will be the focal point for a Kinder Scout type 'rebellion' re overly restricted access to land.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,097
1,921
McBride, BC
You recognize how easily a trail or path is found and followed? What caused that? It's the weight of your footprints, compressing the soil.
This reduces air volume and asphyxiates the root systems of plants which can't tolerate the low oxygen levels in that soil.

It's a really serious concern here in replanting harvested forest blocks. Often to do with the ground loading from the original harvesting machinery.
The reason you want to go to these places is a lot to do with how they look. Stomp around in it and you will change it forever.
Maybe you can put up with the altered landscape understory, maybe not. The more people who use it, the faster the transformation will occur.

Come over to western Canada. Pick a national park like Jasper or Banff. Tour the tenting campgrounds and look for anything green, shorter than a tree.
Come with me into the mountain back country. The wilderness camp sites are still really obvious from the veg disturbance.
And, that's usually no more than a camp of very serious big game hunters for 2-3 weeks in October. That's all it takes.

You will never leave the land unmarked. Your land management plan can reduce the size of your impact but never eliminate it altogether.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,462
2,429
S. Lanarkshire
Paths here do disappear though. We have tremendous amounts of earthworm worked soil. Anywhere in temperate climates where there are deciduous trees and understory, the earthworm, and the hedgehogs, badgers, foxes and moles that follow them, will rapidly turn over, open up and aerate the soils again. It's surprising just how quickly trails can disappear.

I don't think that's as true in coniferous forests though. Ants do deal with the needles, etc., but the annual leaf fall in a deciduous woodland, that allows the growth of understorey plants in their season, is a different beast altogether.

M
 

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