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In 1932, five ramblers in England were imprisoned for daring to walk in their own countryside. The Mass Trespass on to Kinder Scout, which led to their arrests, has since becoming an iconic symbol of the campaign for the freedom to roam in the British countryside.
The Compleat Trespasser – Journeys Into The Heart Of Forbidden Britain, written by outdoors journalist John Bainbridge, looks at just why the British were - and still are – denied responsible access to much of their own land. This ground-breaking book examines how events through history led to the countryside being the preserve of the few rather than the many.
It examines the landscapes to which access is still denied, from stretches of moorland and downland to many of our beautiful forests and woodlands. It poses the question: should we walk and trespass through these areas regardless of restrictions?
An inveterate trespasser, John Bainbridge gives an account of some of his own journeys into Britain’s forbidden lands, as he walks in the steps of poachers, literary figures and pioneer ramblers. The book concludes with a helpful chapter of “Notes for Prospective Trespassers”, giving a practical feel to this handbook on the art of trespass. At a time when government is putting our civil liberties at threat, destroying the beauties of our countryside, and your right to access it, this book is a most useful read.
John Bainbridge, author of the recent book Rambling – the Beginner’s Bible, has been a country walker for over fifty years. He was recently commended by the Ramblers Association for his many years of campaigning service to the rambling movement. He is the author of some thirty books and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, mostly about the countryside and outdoor life.
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