Land access - seeking and finding permission

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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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That's a 'footpath' of known provenance and history though. Like drove roads and holloways, these aren't 'trails'. Footpaths have known markers, obvious routes and passing areas, many are fenced, walled or hedged along side too.
Even the deliberate obliteration of such rights of way really can't remove all past evidences.

M
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
mmmmmmmmmmmmQUOTE=Toddy;1821159]That's a 'footpath' of known provenance and history though. Like drove roads and holloways, these aren't 'trails'. Footpaths have known markers, obvious routes and passing areas, many are fenced, walled or hedged along side too.
Even the deliberate obliteration of such rights of way really can't remove all past evidences.

M[/QUOTE]
 
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paulds

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Sep 28, 2016
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Some really good information on this thread. Where I live most of the land is actually owned by the local authority. As it happens they have a volunteer rangers scheme and some areas have "friends of" organisations. I'm going to join both working on the principle that building up good will while contributing should give me some options. Even if it doesn't lead to me building myself a bushcraft camp I'm still making a positive contribution to the local environment. The main thing is I'll build up the right contacts.
 
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Jun 6, 2020
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That's a great post for a newbie like me looking to get in to bushcraft after many years of thinking about it but doing nothing.
What would be the consequences if you camped out on land without the owners' permission?
In East Manchester where I live there are a many locations where it would be possible to camp. Namely, the Snake and Woodhead Passes between Glossop and Sheffield.
How would I go about finding:
a) Find out if this is public land, and
b) Get permissions if it's private.
c) If it is public land are you free to roam and set up a tent wherever you like?

Thanks in advance

Michael.
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Many of us have been 'rough camping' for years on the moors and mountains in the UK. In general, it has been accepted that anywhere 'above the tree line' you could overnight as you were passing through and, usually, that is still the case. Camping in lowland, especially woodland, is another matter and you should if at all possible seek permission. However, if you've backpacked 15 miles with 25Kg on your back that may be difficult and, as long as you are discreet, you will usually get away with it. But, no open fires, don't camp within sight or sound of residence, and no large groups (I have always limited any trek to four max anyway).

You can find who owns the land by going to the Government land registry site - you click on the map and, as long as it has been registered, it will tell you who owns it. Unfortunately, it doesn't tell you who manages it which is more important. A lot of land will be shown as 'Crown Property' or similar, which doesn't help at all.

The worst you can be accused of in law is trespass (at the moment, there may be a future change in law about overnighting that may unintentionally include this type of camping). All that a landowner can ask you to do (as long as you are polite and cooperative) is leave by the nearest route to public path/road.

If the land is public you still do not have a right to camp - but, many people do get away with it.

I am not advocating you rough camp without permission, but if you do, keep your gear small, light and inconspicuous and do not cause any damage or remove any material (plant, wood, fruit ….) although, unless it has been planted as a crop, it is still not a crime. It goes without saying (and is covered earlier in this thread) you should leave no trace. As someone that owns woodland I would not take kindly to anyone that decided to burn wood that was set aside as a wildlife refuge, or cut a walking stick that I was waiting for the right time to cut, or leave any evidence of their passing, just as a couple of examples.

On top of all that, make sure you have read and understand the laws of trespass and limitations of what you can do before it becomes criminal (for example, taking an air rifle onto someone else's land without permission is 'armed trespass' and a very serious crime).

As a teenager in the seventies I camped everywhere and anywhere and was never challenged; sadly, those days are gone. We live on a crowded overpopulated island. But, there are still places you can go - get out, walk them and watch them first, make sure they are quiet at night, ask permission if you can, and have a go :)
 
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