Saturday, 16 June 2007

Landward 8.06.07

I finally caught Landward's article of wild camping. It started by stating that the reporter like wild camping, but land was being spoilt by irresponsible campers, and one of the common groups were youngsters in cheap, almost-disposable tents. Comments from folk like "no respect", "breaking gates and cutting down trees for firewood", and that the landowners had "no problem with responsible people". One farmer said they were clearing 1 1/2 tons of camping rubbish a year, and that the government would need to "revise the Access Code to properly define wild camping".

There was a report on the 60 square mile fire in Galloway, started by a camp fire. The solution given was to use a camp stove.

Hebe Carus of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland was interviewed and described how people should camp responsibly. (link)

The article ends with the admirable wish that people would "take only memories, leave only footprints".

Well, I think my previous article had said it all. The misguided blame of the Access Laws wasn't tackled. In point of fact, one chap suggested better definitions be given in the Act. It looked okay to me. Why shouldn't landowners ask the police to investigate criminal damage to their land? Down in England&Wales, the discussion is on the police and landowners preventing hikers from wild camping in the wild lands, in Scotland it seems that people are happy to blame the government. Nobody in the programme stated that the following remedies were available in the Act:

What to do if you encounter irresponsible behaviour
6.13 If a person is behaving irresponsibly and damage or significant disturbance is being caused, then you could ask them to modify their behaviour. If they refuse to do so, and this damage or significant disturbance continues, then they would not be exercising access rights responsibly and so they could then be asked to leave. If an individual does this persistently over a period of time, you could seek an interdict against that person. Never use force.
6.14 If a person’s behaviour is criminal, you should contact the Police.

From Scottish Outdoor Access Code (PDF link).
As an interesting point to note, and in line with something that BG said to me last weekend - there is nothing in the sections above that limit the remedies to the landowner or their agent. Why shouldn't citizen-wildcampers not report the criminal actions of other to the police and landowner? We all do it in our daily lives when we see crimes...don't we?



AktoMan said...

Cross-ref to Big Kev's article on same prog (link)