Protesters ‘mass trespass’ on Duke of Somerset’s estate in Devon to demand extended right to roam – What We Know!

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A ‘mass trespass’ by means of a restricted property used for pheasant taking pictures in South Devon at this time has kicked off a nationwide sequence of protests for a larger proper to roam. 

Proper to Roam, a protest group that wishes to see extra personal land made accessible to walkers, has picnicked and paraded by means of the Duke of Somerset’s South Hams property at this time in what marks the start of a month-long nationwide marketing campaign.

One member of the mass trespass reported on Twitter that he had discovered ‘a mass grave of scores of discarded pheasants, wire mesh fencing, and fly-tipped garbage’ on the Duke’s personal property.

Man Shrubsole, the Totnes-based campaigner who posted the image of piled garbage within the woods, complained that giant quantities of personal woodlands exclude ramblers and are used ‘as a substitute for releasing and taking pictures pheasants, a non-native species of recreation hen’. 

Mr Shrubsole mentioned: ‘Isn’t it time massive landowners made rather less room for pheasants, and a bit extra room for us peasants?’ 

As we speak round 200 ‘Proper to Roam’ protesters paraded by means of Berry Pomeroy Citadel woodlands, owned by the the Duke of Somerset John Seymour, as they agitated for larger land entry for ramblers

Berry Pomeroy Castle woodlands is part of the Duke of Somerset John Seymour's sprawling private estate, which includes around 2,800 acres in Devon and 3,400 in Wiltshire

Berry Pomeroy Citadel woodlands is a part of the Duke of Somerset John Seymour’s sprawling personal property, which incorporates round 2,800 acres in Devon and three,400 in Wiltshire

Referring to the pile of detritus and fly-tipped garbage allegedly uncovered through the mass trespass, Mr Shrubsole wrote on Twitter: ‘We’re right here to attract again the veil of secrecy that hides how landowners – not ramblers – trash nature.’ 

The stroll noticed as many as 200 protesters meet at 1pm earlier than parading by means of and picnicking in Berry Pomeroy Citadel woodlands, owned by the Duke of Somerset John Seymour, whose title is on the title deeds of round 2,800 acres of land in Devon and three,400 in Wiltshire, based on Totnes Occasions.

The Duke acquired near £30,000 of taxpayer subsidies in 2020 alone for ‘forest, environmental and local weather providers and forest conservation’ on his Totnes property, based on an evaluation of public information carried out by The Large Challenge.

It comes after the federal government shelved a evaluation into the appropriate to roam final month, with the Treasury saying the English countryside is a ‘place of job’, which already supplies ramblers with ‘lots of of hundreds of miles of public footpaths’. 

The transfer to double down on proper to roam delineations specified by present laws got here despite the shelved report, carried out by Lord Agnew, having promised to create ‘a quantum shift in how our society helps folks to entry and interact with the outside’.

‘Nature needs to be accessible for all’, Proper to Roam’s web site reads. 

‘Our rights of entry needs to be prolonged to woodlands, all downland…and the Inexperienced Belt land that would give so many extra folks in cities and cities quick access to nature.’

Totnes-based campaigner Man Shrubsole instructed The Large Challenge: ‘Common entry to nature is important to folks’s bodily and psychological well being, but a lot of England’s countryside is shut off behind fences and intimidating indicators.

The Totnes branch of the nationwide Right to Roam campaign group began their 'mass trespass' at 1pm, stopping for a picnic along the way, before wrapping things up at around 4.30pm

The Totnes department of the nationwide Proper to Roam marketing campaign group started their ‘mass trespass’ at 1pm, stopping for a picnic alongside the best way, earlier than wrapping issues up at round 4.30pm 

The Duke of Somerset John Seymour, who uses his Berry Pomeroy Castle woodlands for pheasant shooting, received £30,000 of taxpayers' money for 'conservation' work carried out on his Totnes estate in 2020

The Duke of Somerset John Seymour, who makes use of his Berry Pomeroy Citadel woodlands for pheasant taking pictures, acquired £30,000 of taxpayers’ cash for ‘conservation’ work carried out on his Totnes property in 2020 

‘Many woodlands – like these owned by the Duke – are off-limits to the general public as a result of they’re brimming with pheasants put there for just a few days’ taking pictures, with vastly detrimental impacts on the atmosphere.’

The marketing campaign group argues that the liberty to roam, codified into legislation in 2000 by the Countryside & Rights of Manner (CRoW Act), doesn’t go far sufficient – with solely eight % of English land at present accessible to the general public for strolling.

Whereas present legal guidelines permit a proper to roam over sure landscapes (mountain, moor, commons and a few downland, heath, and coastlines), the marketing campaign group believes this entry needs to be prolonged nonetheless additional – bringing England into line with nations like Scotland and Norway, the place ramblers have far fewer limitations.