We continue our meander into the benefits for human health of access to countryside. This week in a conversation with writer, Illustrator and land justice campaigner - Nick Hayes
Nick is just putting the finishing touches to his new book, 'The Book of Trespass - Crossing the Lines that Divide Us' and talks us through the themes and issues presented in the book.
The Book of Trespass, Crossing the Lines that Divide Us
A meditation on the fraught and complex relationship between land, politics and power, this is England through the eyes of a trespasser.
The vast majority of our country is entirely unknown to us because we are banned from setting foot on it. By law of trespass, we are excluded from 92 per cent of the land and 97 per cent of its waterways, blocked by walls whose legitimacy is rarely questioned. But behind them lies a story of enclosure, exploitation and dispossession of public rights whose effects last to this day.
The Book of Trespass takes us on a journey over the walls of England, into the thousands of square miles of rivers, woodland, lakes and meadows that are blocked from public access. By trespassing the land of the media magnates, Lords, politicians and private corporations that own England, Nick Hayes argues that the root of social inequality is the uneven distribution of land.
Nick Hayes Bio -
Nick Hayes is an illustrator and writer living in london. He has written and drawn four graphic novels, The Rime of the modern Mariner, Woody Guthrie and the dust Bowl Ballads, Cormorance and The Drunken Sailor, all published by Jonathan Cape, and is about to release his first non fiction work, called the Book of Trespass, in which he puts forward an argument for greater access to the countryside of England and Wales.
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Links from BS17 - Nick Hayes
welcome to building Sustainability, the podcast that brings you interviews with designers, builders, makers, dreamers and doers. Exploring the wide world of sustainability in the built environment by talking to wonderful people who doing excellent things. I'm your host, Jeffrey Heart. I hope that you're doing well on a healthy wherever you are. This Weeks episode continues the theme of getting outside and reaping the benefits off Connexion to Nature. Today I'm really pleased to bring you a conversation with illustrator and author Nick Hays. Nick is well, he's been my favourite illustrator for for a number of years, so it was really nice to get to chat to him. He has a book coming out soon. I think he's just putting the final finishing touches to the book of trespass, crossing the lines that divide us that's coming out on Bloomsbury. I'm going to keep this intro really short because it's quite a long conversation. But I'll give you the blurb about the book. So the Book of Trespass is a meditation on the fraught and complex relationship between land politics and power. This is England through the eyes of a trespasser. The vast majority of our country is entirely unknown to us because we are banned from setting foot on it by lower of trespass were excluded from 92% of the land and 97% of its waterways blocked by walls whose legitimacy is rarely questioned. But behind them lies the storey of enclosure exploitation and dispossession of public rights, whose effects last to this day. The Book of Trespass takes us on a journey over the walls of England into the thousands of square miles of rivers, woodland lakes and meadows that are blocked from public access by trespassing the land of the media magnates, lords, politicians and private corporations that own England. Nick Hayes argues that the root of social inequality is the uneven distribution of land, weaving together storeys of poachers, vagabonds, gipsies, witches, hippies, Ravens, Ramblers, migrants and protesters and charting acts of civil disobedience. The challenge. Orthodox power at its heart, The Book of Trespass will transform the way you see England. So, without further ado, enjoy this episode of building sustainability. E
guess just on the practical level that the plague just wiped out so many off the workforce that all of a sudden the feudal owners of the land weren't able to call the shots because they were deaf, desperate for the, you know, for the wheat to be brought in before it rotted in heaps. Yeah, eso. All of a sudden, the peasants were able not just to cool the price off their labour, but also to call that there was just this massive greater mobility, you know, they weren't tied to as they as feudalism would dictate. They weren't tied to the various places that they were born and brought up on because they had its feudal ties. They were able to go like elsewhere to other counties in order to, you know, being attracted by another lords. Greater sort of daily, right? Yeah. So all of a sudden the power shifted towards the working class in a way that I don't think I mean, it's very hard to find an example. Since then, it has shifted quite so dramatically. Yeah, but of course, two years later, there came the first vagrancy. I mean, this is the sort of the route of the motion of vagrancy. Okay, because suddenly mobility was legislated against on DH. Suddenly, if people were found to be walking between one place and another much like slaves in America. If they didn't have a little chit to sort of legitimise them, they'd have, you know, the whole brown did in there is or the letter V branded on their forehead. Um, and for a certain period of time, they could be enslaved on B, you know, sort of. They have to work for a year or a free kind of thing on DH. That was the kind of authoritarians response to the freedom of the working class they just banned there. Move.
So it's like two years of having it have any good and then back on the thumb,
Yeah, yeah, on that. We've stayed ever since, basically. And I guess my you know, my thesis of the book is that that was the kind of that's when the fear off Ah, mobility, because, like, kind of became set in stone in the psyche of the country, because kind of geographic mobility wass Akin or was parallel to kind of social mobility. If people were by law rooted to the spot, they just didn't have the ability. Teo better their situation right away. The grass is greener on DH, sewed by banning people moving, you were essentially, you know, sort of restricting them to their social order as well as their sort off Geula geographic order coming
that says complete control over someone's life. Then
absolutely. I mean, I guess one of the things that I tried to say through the book that, like, control off the land control of who moves across the land or who moves or the rights that people have to certain areas of land is just Ah, it is just a direct parallel to control of the actual society lives that lives around it. Because, you know, we are physical three dimensional creatures and we need to even during the age of the Internet, we still need to exist somewhere. And so you know, you can Ah, like, right now, you know, we're sort of working from home and stuff, but you can't really work from home. Ah, if your rent is too, You know, if someone has kind of upped the rent kind of thing, if you're you become homeless, then still we're backto back to basics. If someone can control your rights toe sort of live or to be or to just simply walk through land, then they're controlling the kind of opportunities that you have in your life. Yeah, You know, we still live on a kind of analogue level where we still have to be situated somewhere. And if we don't have rights to anywhere because I mean, you are sat on a boat at the moment, and so you've essentially bought your right to a moving little cube of space. Yes. Yeah, but that terrifies people because of the moving bit, you know? So there's very strict rules as to where you you can move and you can't move
on. How often I have to move.
Yeah, Andi, actually, that that side of things is Mohr is icy, is less authoritarians. It doesn't benefit the elite view of the world. It benefits the community, the wider community of voters.
Otherwise, you just find a really beautiful spot on just stay there all the time. Which would mean that every single other boater wouldn't be able to experience that spot.
I've heard that it comes from like the old days of parishes. And there was a photo in day rule on a sort of people wondering into a parish and then the parish would look after them, but they they had to move on. That's that's not particularly well explained.
No, I hear you. So it was about it was about sort of jurisdiction, your boundaries kind of thing. If you were within the boundaries, then you had certain rights to it. Ravished didn't want to provide for you for longer than two weeks.
Exactly, like they look after the poor and needy. But you know, there's a limit. Yeah,
but But to me, that's kind of you know, there is a, for example, the trespass signs on railways. To me, those trespass signs are signs that benefit the wider community because they're trying to stop not just people getting individual people getting electrocuted as they all run over us. They, ah as they sought to trespass on the railway lines but also, you know, delaying the hundreds of people that have also got their lives to lead. You know who were using the train's kind of those to me are examples of signs that operate are an operation of power for the wider community. But the same no trespassing sign when placed around the perimeter of, say, a 7000 acre bluebell wood that happens to have bean enclosed from, you know, what it used to be is common land, saying the 18 fifties on is now became private land because, you know, the guy that bought it was also the guy that was in parliament voting for that enclosure Bill. That's a no trespassing sign. That is an operation of power for one person against the rights and the interests of every single other person Lana that might want to walk through a blue about word. Yeah, so there's a sort of subtle, distinct I'm no against, um I'm no against ah sort of being told what to do. I'm just against you because there is especially encoded that this that situation now, in a way, the state is controlling us in a way that, you know, people in any other situation would find absolutely totalitarian eso Are we actually just patsies to the state? Will, I don't think so, because we're doing this for the community of people when we're looking to protect, you know, the more vulnerable people that ous whose immune systems is slightly weaker because of diseases that they've had in the past. But the elderly, all of that kind of thing. People have had pneumonia. We're being told by the state to stay in. But I think we're complying because we see that it benefits all of us here. There's something about trespass laws. There's something about the laws of property specifically really in England that we swallowed a status quo unorthodox e a cz. If they are the rules similarly, that benefits society. But they don't. They benefit thie. Absolute 1% of the 1% of society who just so happened to be the people that run the media on run, you know, historically run the parliament that set the rules. Um, yes. Oh, I have a problem with those trespass signs. But Noel trespass signs
You're not just ripping down, but no trespass signs indiscriminately.
Yeah, I don't want, you know. And land rights campaigners will often be accused off Well, if we let people if you know, run amok, it will always be called run amok in the countryside. Who knows what will happen? You know, like gates will be left open and sheep will be worried by dogs. A letter will be strewn across and you can't just let people these Vandals like, sort of swarm into the countryside and, you know, like without any respect. But they always try and present us. Is thie kind of raving mad extremists? But it's the laws of property that the kind of what I say in the book, the cult of exclusion, this sense that owning great swathes of land should also come with the right to exclude other people access to the health benefits, the mental health benefits. Just the beauty of these things that Khun that Khun give so much to the people that use them on DH to the point that they're actually down essential. Yeah, um, that there's a kind of madness and an extremity off the kind of claw that holds the land that won't give anything away because it's mine. Mine, mine. But one of the tactics has always been Teo sort of portray the trespass air or the Rambler or the right to roam campaigner as someone that just wants to do away with all order. Um, and they use that argument precisely because property itself is, you know, is an act that undermines a natural harmony, a sort of, you know, like I say this is mine on because I say this is mine. That means you can't have anything to do with this. Ah, that might work with a television or about like, Your Honour the moment you wouldn't want people you know coming to live on your boat because it just you wouldn't have any privacy or, you
know it depends. But what, of course, but
that's the thing. You know, there's a sense of it's reasonable for you to require your own privacy. What's unreasonable is that if your boat was the size of Manchester on DH, you know Manchester formerly lived on that area on that. You then cleared the inhabitants of Manchester so that your property could extend across there. And there are Dukes and Lords and Earls in England, our own the equivalent not just of Manchester, but Manchester Lester in Birmingham. That's the Duke of ACLU owns the equivalent land mass in the UK,
one of the major land Tono major landowner in the UK
And the clue is thie. Yeah, very kids. That's that's good working.
I went on a bit of his land, actually, And your storey Yeah, it was restoring 1/17 century Cobb building just over the border in Scotland. I wow on DH thie guy, who I was working with, actually, at the end of the project after it's been paid quite a lot of money to restore this building because it's about to fall down and historic Scotland were kicking up a fuss. Uh, so that the duke after that to do something about it, the friend I was working with then offered Do you have a clue? Just, I think, under market value for the land because he knew it was just a bit of a money. Drain them. Sure, Andi just just offloaded this thing. So my friends now got this beautifully renovated. All restored. Ah, cop down. Oh, my gosh. Yeah, we did
well out of
that. The very waste is one of those people that you have a jammie Dodger. Yeah. No, afraid of the cheeky question, He who dares Rodney Exactly. It's very much like that, E. So So where is it? Like, you know, with with sort of ascertained that you know something the size of my boat. Is it all right toe sort of stake a claim to on then something the size of Manchester. Not but where? I mean, there's obviously a whole Grady int in between. Where where does it get, where does it get, like sticky or interesting?
Well, I mean, it gets sticky and interesting on every fence line. I sort of understand the question that you're asking is like, you know, if if 7000 acres is too much, then is, you know, is one acre enough for you know who sets this limit? Its a very ballot question on DH, there's two. There's kind of two parts to be answered because in obviously we look to Scotland or Norway or Sweden or Estonia or Finland, who were all countries that have historically had the right to Rome or the rights, the various rights that come with the right to frame, you know, the right to kayak the right to walk the right to pick mushrooms or sort of forage kind of the right to camp, the right sort of stay temporarily on the land. Even in Scotland, that just enshrined in law in 2003 it's these these rights go back a long way and, you know, a sort of in trying not just in the mindset of the people, but sometimes in the kind of common law or even the kind of, you know, civil law of the land. Um, yes. Oh, so these places that I've had the right to roam enshrined in their culture for a long time. Ah, since time immemorial, ready the They have a kind of codified sense of how close to someone's property you're allowed to lay your tent in the Scottish legislation. It's it's just defined as a reasonable distance, and reasonable is something that sort of respects the other person's privacy. So if they can see from the kitchen window or even, you know, if they climbed the tree at the end of their garden, they could see you camping. That's too close in Sweden that it's it's 170 metres from there.
I've got specific. They
have a very specific kind of buffer zone kind of thing. Eyes
that that is that from a dwelling, or is it from property? Yeah, is
what is called the Kurta lige. So it's from the thie boundary that the edge off the dwelling on the sort of private guard. But again, this is where that that's no answering your question because you know how big is someone's private garden allowed to be? Friends of mine owned a farm in Suffolk and they've got, um they got 12 acres and 12 acres is quite a large amount of land, but it's not sprawling. And so if they had someone camping in, you know that paddock just beyond beyond what you can see from your kitchen window that still might be considered as an invasion of space. Um so the question is who Who gets to define it? And even in Norway, in Scotland, Um, that is an area of contention that how big is enough private land? Because the Duka ba clue who's a state visit in the book? Um, his his dear Park's my dear parks of the kind of where the origin really off, You know that this notion that you should have the right to exclude people from your area of land. Now, dear parks a massive because their range, you know, they need a huge amount to range and grades. Um, on DH, he could very much argue that you know the land that hey enclosed from common land Ah, is his private garden just because there are sort of architectural elements across. You know, there's Bali's or great long avenues of lime trees have bean planted in the 18 in the 18 hundreds, and so he could argue that quite neatly, um, so is an area of contention. There's not one answer to it. But to be honest, if you gave everyone there, dear Parks and you were still allowed, like in Scotland to sort of walk the edges of the arable fields or Teo walk in the woods or anything that has become industrialised or that kind of thing, you'd still have an enormous amount of land. The majority of the land that's excluded would be opened up to people. Yeah, so I would answer that. That's just a matter for, um, discussion. But the moment that discussion is even off the table like to even raise that discussion, which my book seeks to do is for the Daily Mail in The Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times, too, right, how mad you are on DH if you want. If you if you're looking for, you know, people public. This is by far the most common retorts, and everyone that makes it thinks they've just invented. But are you want the right to Rome? Well, how about I come on DH camp up in your back garden? And that is the absolute every single tweet That Guy's Shrubs soul, who wrote a book called Who Owns England Right? Which came out a year ago. Every single tweet that he puts forward because we're working together on a a right to roam campaign but also currently a sort of a GN argument that we should open up the golf courses during the lock down because there's been an incredible amount of research done to show you how by the Sunday Times to show how one million more people would have mainly living in towns and cities would have access to green space. Um, if the golf courses were open, which would obviously alleviate the pressure of the parks, which would obviously mean that social distancing was possible without this kind of ah, a sort of oppressive emphasis on lock down, Yeah, or on, you know, people staying at home, which has just untold, you know, sort of tax on people's mental and physical health.
Who owns the golf courses
Well in London, interestingly enough, hard. 49% of the golf courses are owned by either the council's off that particular area, which essentially means that they are funded by the tax payer or the council ratepayer, or the crown estate on the crown Estate officially belongs to the monarchy, but currently 75% of the profits made on the crown estate goes straight back into the treasury. S o. It's the monarchy owns it. But it's not the individuals of the Queen and Prince Charles. It's the kind of official post of the monitor. So again, that means that fundamentally, it means that it's owned by England or owned by the people of England, because, you know, we reap the benefits. So for 49% of the golf courses in London, which total about 11,000 acres, so call it, you know, 5.5 1000 acres of green space is already owned by Londoners.
Yeah, ATT. Yet they're not allowed to toe wonder into
Yeah, and no one wants to deal with the question. Why no, And the answer to that question it is just the orthodoxy off the current off property and ownership of power is currently defined in England. We assume that toe allow people access to it is a kind of invasion off thie owner's rights. But then when you say, but the owners are fundamentally those people themselves, the reason people get scared about that is that if you then start allowing that, then that's, Ah, slippery slope. That's your kind of alco pop into the more harder drugs right to roam from, basically, you know, um, sober. As I was saying, People will always reply to guys tweets and I say guy, because I don't tweet but ideo to watch with interests like how people treat him and they will always say So you're saying we should open up the golf courses which are owned by the Council on the Crown Estate? Do you want me to come on, walk all over your flowerbed as if they've made ah sort of, ah, sort of, you know, a slam point as if they've won. The argument on the obvious answer is no. I don't want you to come to climb over my fence and, you know, sort of sit in my back garden because my back garden, if I'm lucky enough to have one kind of thing, which I'm not leaving the tower block, but my back garden is like just a kind of a yard, and that's, you know, where I grow my veg and you know where my kids run around. And that would obviously be an invasion of privacy. But if you're trying to claim that your back garden is, you know, a 42,000 estate like Thie MP of Dorset, Richard tracks. If you're trying to claim that 42,000 acres eyes the same thing as a back garden, which, as it currently stands, the law ofthe England says that it is, it doesn't see any difference. It doesn't. It doesn't see any difference of context and scale. Uh, then I guess the land rights campaigner would suggest that you're the mad one, you know, You know, if you're really trying to pretend that like a small backyard is the same thing is, you know, sort of ancient English oak, woodland, you know, with all of its sort of wooden enemies and bluebells. And, you know, the sort of not just the beauty, but the kind of I guess the the essential oils of the trees that kind of health benefits that are not just, um, psychological, but just, you know, physiological of walking in with you trying to suggest that that's the same thing as me. Sort of poking around birth, you know, washing on your washing line on DH. Why are you the logical, rational
one that sees that what you're saying is
mad And I just want to, you know, have a walk through a bluebell wood because it's well known, Yeah, but people get very threatened. And it's our job, Teo sort of present to people. Um, that way that that there is an enormous tsunami off ah, say daily mail articles or telegraph opinion pieces that will say that this is just madness. Um, and you actually see it like, you know, a large amount of the land in England was enclosed after the slave owners of the Caribbean were paid compensation for when they're slaves were emancipated by law. The law in England change. Then they had tio. I had to free the slaves even though I think it was for about six years, part of the laws with slaves had to stay exactly where they were and work apprenticeships sexy is after
is not like rebrand.
They were emancipated. Yeah, but if you if you go through this thing you see L A slavery date database is quite a new Oh, our website that's been up for about five or six years. And that details where all of this money went to, like, who was paid on DH. They sort of trace the money on a lot off the land, basically, just walls in England went up when people were able to, you know, to use the money to enclose further aspects of land for further areas of land. But before the cause of emancipation was one, people were saying, too, allow people to confiscate one form of property I, the human beings that were stolen from the West coast of Africa, Um, would be to call into question the notion of property all together on where with this leaders. So this whole, this whole question of 1st 1 thing and that is a slippery slope to sort of question in other aspects of property has bean in the land debate for the last, you know, well, in terms of slavery, like 300 years. But, um, it goes back before that as well. The the logic off exclusion to the land is built on very high and very thin stilts on DH. To take one of those stilts away threatens to expose that this isn't built on rational, socially beneficial laws. This is built on historical abuses of the law by people who were in Parliament simply by virtue off the amount of land that they, you know, you could In the rotten Barrows, you could buy land and through buying land, you bought your right, uh, to parliament, basically right. And so you know, And but people don't want that Storey told, because again, that's another stilt is knocked from. You know, that this sort of orthodoxy of land ownership yeah, on DH say they just you know, the reviews of my book will be Ah, well, the reviews of guys book where on guys book was very much. Here are the statistics here. You know, I have investigated who owns this part of England who won't this process? Clinton Here is the evidence we have fact based barrel. That's where these ongoing Patterson, the former minister for the Environment I think his review in the Telegraph that was this that this was pie in the sky thinking, even though you know, you've got all your bar chart paragraphs and bar charts in the back and your spreadsheets detailing where the information has come from, exactly the acreage off the Duke of McClure, the Duke of Westminster kind of thing. This is the absolute opposite of pie in the sky. But people are so, um, groomed into thinking that any kind of alternative to the orthodoxy is math. That's one thing will just lead, Tio, you know, sort of upturned cars on fire in the streets and stuff. And really, all we're asking for is for more people to get the mental health benefits off. Seeing a nice hill.
Yeah, I am to go for remember? Yeah, that's
all it is. And it's really nice. And lots of people know how nice it is on DH, and that's it.
So on these feel like pretty big players that you're you're coming up against here. Um, maybe I'm just used to being on the the losing side. I mean, when I was trying to Rob Hopkins, we're talking about now this this topic and yeah, that that all the things I've ever protested for, uh, I've lost on. It's only just recently when things like Heathrow Airport on Bristol Airport have been turned down because of climate emergency. I feel like people kind of when we've won. Ah, what what do we do now? Have never really been in this position. But is that? But the thing is,
Geoffrey, is that true? Because also, just you don't have to go back in time like the fracking protest against cuadrilla up in Preston. Ah, like they've effectively worked the Sheffield Tree protest to stop 17.5 1000 trees. Being cut down has effectively one. Yeah, I be ugly. I understand what you mean. That there's like an episode of South Park, where Jesus is in the boxing ring against the devil. Jesus is this kind of life sort of skimpy white man with, like, sort of, um, I listened to stone a rock kind of big, and he's just like this dopey Phil acid like sort of elm. And let's just be nice kind of thing. And the devil's just like Mike Tyson Lane. Five bags of shit out kind of thing on. That's
how it seems. Yeah,
but name a human right on. It hasn't been given by people in power. It's been taken by the people, you know, by the just the just the populist kind of thing. Um, recently, like a say, Sheffield Preston like, grow Heathrow order. Like they want in no uncertain terms. Yeah, and they didn't win. It wasn't just like one group of people. Ah ah! Who won the battle? It was like the the kind of pro bono law firm that took the case. Um, but it was the sort of residents of Simpson and, you know, all around he throw it was playing stupid and all of the kind of campaigners it was. Extinction, rebellion. It was just this kind of a loose coalition of people who, probably on the inside had very different reasons and different goals kind of thing. But they were able, essentially, through anarchism, unite through discussion and kind of horizontal power share to work out how to stop these sort of big beasts of industries. I mean, previously, it was the same in the Sheffield Tree campaigners. But
Jonah Jonah, just give a quick background to that for people that don't know
to what is the Grow Heathrow,
the Sheffield Teo.
Oh, well, yeah. I mean, they're the kind of heroes in my book. They are there in the final chapter, and I guess they're a sort of example. The final chapter, So of it's a chapter six storey trees. No, not like that. There's no there's no like plot twist. My, I'd say The only plot twist in my book is what I'm about to tell you s Oh, this is a spoiler. But as a man is that you know, throughout the whole book, I basically going trespass on people's sort of great mineral estates, like hop over the walls of castles and manor houses and stuff to go and trespass there. So 7000 acre or 14,000 acre or 50,000 acre estates. Andi, you know I make a case or why Trespass is just ah sort of biassed word of power, and actually you could just call it walking. Then I want to look at, um, the architecture of power that has managed to call this trespass. But then the sort of twist right at the end of the last chapter is every single one of these trespass is Has been done in accordance with the Scottish rite to Rome. So if the laws were changed, I wouldn't have been trespassing at all on. So the argument of the book is that it's not the act, but simply how it is defined. That is the crime. And, you know, the crime is not the crossing of the fence, but the presence of the fence. But, you know, the twist is like, you know, Scottish Rite to Rome comes with the Scottish Code of Responsibility, which is basically codifying common fucking sense, which is like, Don't walk on someone's crops Don't come, you know, Like I was saying, Don't come within a reasonable distance of the kurta Digit the dwelling because, you know, that's an invasion of privacy and I didn't do any of that. I mean, I barely met anyone when I was quite hard to spin a yarn out of it like that. There was no I just went for a walk. I slept most most of these places. I slept over, made a fire cleaned up, left no trace. There was, you know, not one sort of whisper gold wrapper where I was another. This is hard. It would it would feel like vandalism to just leave my, you know, shit lying around in a beautiful spot off.
Yeah, of course.
But, um yeah, but they're so going back to the Sheffield Tree. Protesters there was streets ahead Initiative, I think 2015 or thereabouts in them from Sheffield Council. Wass appear fight contracts. So, you know, sort of negotiated with the private firm who, incidentally, are part of the same multinational firm that we're doing the Heathrow expansion. Yeah, that they were, You know, like the dark overlords all links, um, and it was kind off. You know, the streets ahead initiative was like, We're going to put a certain amount of Sheffield Council's money into making sure that the street trees off Sheffield are safe on DH. What they would call like non discriminatory. So if there were roots penetrating the tarmac a or the paving slabs kind of thing, you could argue quite brightly that they were discriminatory against people using electrical wheelchairs or, you know, like actually that street is non navigable. But the 450 year old Melbourne Oak was the one of the first ones to be felled on the people that watched it
so that their solution was was instead of like, just to cut them all down. I
know all of them but off. But because of the criteria that they had created, um, as to which trees should be dealt with Ah, they, um yeah, they had earmarked about 17.5 1000 trees. Sheffield, which is basically a forest t cut down. Um, there are, You know, there are a number of alternatives that they could have used. They could have put like a kind of flexi tarmac in my kind of rubber. You see around trees somewhere rubber tarmac so that ah, you know that the roots don't cause cracks in the tarmac. They just the time it gets more sort of malleable plastic into, you know. And that's just one example of the things they could have done to save these trees. But as just a bad point of fact, that would just cost them more than just hiring security guards to keep out protesters. There are borealis to cut them, um, on DH. So they were just sort of going ahead and doing a cost cutting exercise by cutting down the trees various different groups save rust things. Road trees is one exam. I can't think of the exact titles of the other, but
that's not so. Grass. Grass roots. Yeah, that's a particular, absolutely particular road that banded together.
Exactly. So individual roads with band together on DH that just didn't want All of a sudden they just saw that these trees were being turned to stumps. And, you know, 450 year old tree has got an enormous canopy. Then you know there's the birdsong and the white tailed moths and or all of those or white eared most the, um, that go with that great communities of creatures, insects and animals that I'm, you know, a sort of homeless now on DH. Yeah, Individual pockets of resistance appeared throughout Sheffield, then kind of fire. What sap on DH Social media. The's individual groups started banding together and became the Sheffield Tree Action Group, or Stag, who then, basically, you know, the classic anarchists kind of slogan they kind of they just organised on DH. They, you know, have these huge What's that? Groups that were, you know, when people would turn up, Um, at's when? When the when the tree cutters would turn up a certain street. What's that? Would go crazy and you get like 22 50 people just circling the trees and blocking on DH just and then they turned it into arts festivals. Then they turned it into music festivals they took. They really generated a kind of social movement against this.
Yeah, you're creating community one
100% because now these people, I mean, they've just radicalised themselves because now they're helping out. I mean, it's become bigger than they ever imagined. Like, you know, when the Ortho Rob McFarland got involved and Jackie Morris, who both collaborated on there The lost words or the spell songs Ah, really huge hit. And they sort of created a poem for the trees, which of course, fundamentally created a lot more interest on, you know, social media about the trees. All of a sudden, they became the kind of template for other tree protest, such as in Bristol or in Bradford, where councils are doing the same things. And basically they're saying that there are by all means cut down the trees, if that is the absolute last option. But look at the other approaches and you know, they ran any amount of sort of alternative assessments off those trees. Sort of independent assessments on DH. You know, they came back with basically the bare truth. Many of these trees, the majority of the lion share of history's just didn't need to be cut down. And it was just, you know, a private company looking Teo. Sort of minimise the cost of maximise profit. Yeah. Don't know if you've read the over Storey. If you read
it. I know. I know that that's that's come into my world twice in the last week. I really just Who was it?
Who else has told you?
A guy who they work with had it on his bookshelf behind behind him. We did a work catch up meeting. Yeah, and then it said it was mentioned. And then I've seen it. A war somewhere, Somewhere online. So now this is the third. And now it's gonna be Oh, I can't ignore it anymore.
Well, it's Ah, It's a Pulitzer Prize winning novel about sort of strangers who, whose lives kind of come together through their interaction with trees, and it's kind of climaxes in a ah redwood forest tree protest. But fundamentally, it's like it's the biggest ode of ah, sort of love, too, to the notion that trees are actually living things. And they're known just, you know, wood production factory. Oh, are you know,
just timber in raw form. Yeah,
exactly. Crude timber on it is just the most powerful, You know, I read that book and then was walking through mild words from back home and came across their newly fallen tree. And you just find yourself talking it like it's a fallen elephant or something like It sort of brings out this late love that the trees are a lot more than just, you know, backdrops to a nice pretty street there, you know, as a zombie. Oh, and Greta Thumb. But that will bear these huge communities of time. Time works differently under trees like, you know that they're linked. Teo. 300 years before you know, you sit under an oak tree's canopy 500 years in the growing on DH that there's something that's alive. That was kind of yeah, that was sort of that was alive when Shakespeare wass kind of. Yeah, there's something about that is it's a very healthy the philosophy of time passing then, of you know, Connexion with the world. Ah is the direct opposite off near liberalism's productivity. You know, time is money and every second counts kind of day.
I've been talking about that a lot. It seems recently thes links backto back to different times and different ways of life. Did a poke us with a forager and she was talking about the folklore. And you're all the hunter gatherer sort of instincts of finding things on I I find it really strongly. It's much shorter distance. But every anytime I take my boat through a lock right leaning on that lock thiss technology hasn't changed in 100 years. Yeah, yeah, over 100 years. Yes. Imperious, primitive on just that. That strength I get of linking back to a time is so strong. And
lately Yeah, but there's also I mean, I have a sort of theory that I don't know if you've ever seen or read the play. Jerusalem. I know you know about it. So So Mackenzie crook from the office, Who's Gary from the office was in the first performance of it on DH Mark Rylance, who's like you know England's greatest. Yeah,
the nicest face you've ever seen. Oh, yeah, No, I totally agree. The kind of stars in the world. I just want to sit on that man's lap and just
having stroke my back and tell me a storey like his easel just seems lovely. But he played a character written by Jez Butterworth called Johnny Rooster Byron. On this play, Jerusalem is just a nen credible, powerful. It's sort of set in a little Johnny Rooster Byron lives in a source squatted site in an old forest around Gloucester, sheer sort of stone homes. He kind of way on the villains of this tragedy of the sort of Kennet and Avon Council who were seeking to effective. But it's all about, um, Jack, a green and extra cell and all of these old spirits of Albion on that's coming back. That's like to great fanfare that's coming back next year. Two theatres. But it's kind of my theory that this I know Well, yeah, if bases are open
for sure, but then it will be
VOD casted out or something. I don't know. Nothing can stop Jerusalem Kevin, but Mackenzie crook then went on. Teo right tech tourists, which is a very sort of gentle ah sort of study off people's relationship with landscape. The track tourist was the theme tune was written by Johnny Flynn, who was also in the first production of Jerusalem on DH. I just I'm just It just seems like the over storey Jerusalem was will damage the detector wrists. All of these things air combining Teo kind of somehow legitimise something that is characteristically bean, a feminine or feminised or dismissed by popular culture, um, as tree huggers. Or, you know, that sort of just a bunch of useless hippies were sort of becoming a bit more naturalised to this idea that there is a spiritual Connexion to the land on. Actually, of all the things of all the reasons, you know, from growing, you know, sort of growers groups to write to Rome to the mental health benefits, physical health benefits of our relationship to the land, you could even argue that the spiritual Connexion is the one that has leased being spoken about, the one that is sort of most deeply felt by everyone. It's a sort of simultaneous paradox because it's just so easy to dismiss by that the kind of thumb countries Ida's place of industry, that that kind of farmers lobby group, that this is a serious, sensible place where work happens and well, it is that. But there is also a need that we have to, um, to hear Rennes singing, you know, to hear Nightingale singing Sanli's projects with the Nightingales. Um, the poetry isn't just a sort of decoration to life, but it's a sort of pronouncement of our deeply felt A Connexion to landscape. Ah, that It seems that now all we've got is the poetry and not the landscape. Basically, it disconnect. Yeah, it would be nice for us, Tio have the both. Basically,
you've sort of talked a bit about your trespassing for the for the book. Sure. Do you feel like do you feel like that Connexion was made?
Well, I feel like I had that. I feel like I had that Connexion, regardless of thie kind of superstructure of laws that refused me to do it. Like, um, the book that I've written is coming from the perspective. My normal job is just as an illustrator on one of the nicest ways for me to sort of sit on DH. Just chill in nature is to bring a sketchbook. And if you bring a sketchbook and sit on the right of way, eh, it's illegal to sit on the right of way just
by the letter of the North kind
of thing, like they are for passing and re passing on DH. You know, maybe you're allowed a cheese sandwich. But if you want to sit there and I don't know, smoke a cigarette on DA do a drawing kind of thing, then by the letter of the law, that's, Ah, that's in the great ground of law, whether you're breaking it but fundamentally like the best views are where they happen to be on. If there's events in the way, then I will have always hocked it on DH. The book came from a sense that various meetings and interaction with the representatives of landowners telling me no on me having a deep so a sense that what I was doing was not a crime was not damaging. As the law of trespass pretends it is non damaging the land but simply damaging or threatening the owner's exclusive control of the land. Um, and so the book came from a sense that I have this kind of deep need to be sat in sort of wild places of England that have, ah, more to do with animals and the floor on the floor for more than they do with human beings kind of thing. And one thing about sketching is that it really sort of stills you You're not sort of crashing through the woodland spurge, Andi, you know, frightening all the animals like outcome. The deer's outcome the you know, the birds outcome everything because you kind of become still on you just experienced so much of, ah, you get a real sense of the world carries on without humans and the arrogance of humans to believe that. You know, we are, um, the masters of this world. And it's so, you know, science is now that there's all sorts of papers that are coming out from anything like Xinmin Yoku. Like I was saying earlier, the sort of Japanese are of forest bathing. It's not just nice and peaceful to go for a walk in the forest. It's being shown to boost your immune system for up to 30 days after a walk in the forest. And that's just through inhaling thie essence that the sort of essential oils of the trees kind of
Rob Hopkins in his book from what is What if he I he talks about ah, going to hear the dawn chorus and he gets up early and I think it's in May about now on DH. Yeah, he's sitting while it's still dark, and then he starts to hear this, but birds starting to chatter. And then it's sort of a deafening a noise of yet just all these different individual voices speaking at once. Andi, hey said that his his concentration and his um, you're just his off vibrancy for for a week afterwards was like maximised. Sure, yeah, that's that's hearing some birds wake up. Yeah, exactly. Come and shock me. No coming Shark Week.
If only we could translate the morning chorus. It wouldn't sound so beautiful. I don't
think it's really with the coolest birds. No, I just Then I just
full of themselves out. But I'm But the thing is, it's been very hard to quantify. Thie effects that say just to take the dawn chorus is ah, a za good example. You don't get to hear the dawn chorus unless you've slept out. Ah, that night on DH. Actually, my experience is sleeping. Now you'll you'll sort of be woken up by the dawn chorus and then if you're like me, but you bring a little inflatable mattress because I'm done with roll mats.
If you sort of pumped
up an inflatable mattress, you're then able to experience the dawn chorus and then go back to sleep and sort of lie in until about, you know, a and
you wasted luxury trespass that I was gonna go slumming it. I
am done with it like that. That's a bear grylls stuff that you've gotta just, you know, sleep in a sleep in a puddle.
Do you have a little eye mask? Look, man, if I needed a I would I would
like that. That's just them faras. I see Bear Grylls is just the masculinity, asserting its or using nature to prove your own, you know, toughness kind of thing. I have no need to light a fire from ah sparks. And you know, like I always bring along a little tea light and just like the candle and then just amend the fire's done in five minutes.
You know, squeezing cancer, just drops of water out. I
do that. I ordered the cow manure from Amazon. It's organic. Yeah. I mean, I know, I know, but I'm thirsty. I've drunk from lakes that I shouldn't have drunk from it. You know, I probably would just squeeze a cow poo if I needed to. Kind of think. But the truth is that a bear Grylls doesn't do that as a speed exposed and sleeps in hotels when the cameras are rolling on B that it's just that kind of even Ray Mears, who's slightly, a bit more legit. Uh, I think that kind of thing puts people off wild camping because it's all about, like, a bare bones toughness. And you've got, like, I bring
you anymore. Yeah, doing it
like that. Like if you've got an inflatable mattress, you're nice and warm. You've got your nice, toasty socks on kind of thing. You wake up at dawn chorus. You know, you almost so excited that you got tears in your eyes. Then you fall back to sleep, you know, go for a piss in the morning and just see the world waking up kind of thing on There's no soul. This is just you in the world kind of thing on dure comfortable on your on your warm and you feel this is one of the things The woman that set up the national Trust was called Octavia Hill. When she was along with Ruskin and William Morris. She was a sort of land rights campaigner from a sort of social campaign. In point of view, she thought that the working class should have more exposure not just to space and fresh air, but to beauty, anything she thought that that was really then they were all part of this kind of arts and crafts movement that it was a kind of a cz, much an aesthetic movement, as it was a sort of working class, you know, socialist rights movement. Um, and she sat out the national trust. She was sort of seminal of keeping Epping Forest in London open to a CZ common ground so that people could access it hamster teeth. She saved Kew Gardens when we wouldn't be allowed to access it if it wasn't for her, how she was hard core. But she her mantra was that she wanted people to feel at home in, uh, natural spaces. Um, and I guess this just leading me back. Teo, There's nothing like an inflatable mattress to make you feel at home. Ivan, bring a pillow along. I don't care. It's just I just want to like that That the dawn chorus is a very good example is it feels like a miracle when you experience it and it happens every bloody day in spring and summer. Um, on DH and it's it is a miracle, but it's prosaic on DH, you know, happens all the time. It's just we don't have access to that. That kind of Ah, that kind of glory. Andi, I think the mental health benefits not just of seeing yourself as part of what much wider system on and, you know, sort of reducing your sort of, um ah, personal fears and anxieties, you know, sort of dissolving them into this sort of wider natural harmony, but also just like a breath of fresh air. Just doing something different out of the norm kind of thing. In Scotland, in Norway and Sweden, that scene is your birthright. On in England, that's seen as trespassing on DA you know you can. The police can take Khun b called tau sort of push you off the land on If you do it again on the same place, you could be in prison for three months and you know, blah, blah, blah. It's it's ah, It's an absurd removal or restriction to something that causes. I can't say no harm because obviously some people do letter. But the wide majority of people don't on DH to exclude us from not just the land but these sort of vital spiritual experiences. Um, is just ah, sort of is just something we've got used to in England on We've forgotten what we've lost.
Yeah, nothing. Um, So do you think your your book is gonna shake things up? Do you think? No. No, really. I
know. That's the worst. I think I I don't think so. We What book has shaken stuff up like Not like the Communist Manifesto, Ugo? Um no, I don't think so. I think it will be received very badly by you know, the right wing press. But what?
That would sort off probably be a bit of a badge of honour. That what kindof
chapter that the penultimate chapter in my book, kind of it is about kayaking on DH. This kind of like there's an absurd fact that actually we only have access to 3%. We have legal access to 3% of the end of waterways in England out, um, the sort of the rial dynamic off that has sort of transpired to be kayakers vs people that have paid for the rights to fish. I'm on the rivers and up in Scotland. Um, you have access to because of the right to Rome, you have access to 100% on. So if you can navigate the river with your craft either your you know what's the paddleboard or a kayak or swimming or anything like that, then you have a right to it. And there are reasonable exceptions to that, you know, like the sort of accept that some people like to fish. So if they're fishing in particular area, then it might be polite. Tio, not kayak there at certain times in the season, and those things have written into the sort of code the countryside code. But in England, kayakers have lead weights thrown at them Aaron, you know, sort of thrown off the trespassing, that there's a really enmity, a full seven iti between. I've got nothing against fishing. I personally find it quite boring. But friends about, you know, some of my best friends are fishermen on DH. It's just the fishermen have bought their rights to that area. They have the by the rules of property in England, that river has been privatised by the people that own it on those people have the right to sell fishing or to rent the fishing rights to other people so that they could make more money. Those people then come along having rented their right and consider that right in some way muddied or threatened by the presence of other people that haven't paid for their right to be there a k a kayakers or, uh, while swimming. Um, but there is an absurdity to the fact that we're kayaking has been proved not to affect fish stocks, not to affect fishing. The only thing that really effects is the fisherman's sense of exclusive control over the river. I've kind of lost where I was going with that, but oh, yes. Oh, the penultimate chapter sort of deals with kayaking, but also deals with this kind of false enmity between the landowners and the on on DH. The trespass it like the trespass so is defined by the laws of the land as, um, causing damage to the landowners rights. So I don't have to actually damage the land to be done for damage, because trespass is classed as a talk, which is damage just by being on the land. Um, I don't have a problem with the Duke of ACLU on DH like, unlike lots of landowners, I don't have a problem with rich people. I don't have a problem with owners of thousands of acres in Norway and Sweden. There's counts and Earls that still own the land. What I have a problem with is the system that ah defines ownership as giving you the right to exclude the community that I need the land so badly so you could chop off the Duke of Cleves head on the the system of land ownership would stay the same on its only the duke of a clue. I mean, I don't know him personally, but it's only the land owners that have created this Storey that we are against them on DH. So by buying into that by sort of going on about how, like, just how you know, the Duke of Westminster, he's only 30 years old and needs, You know, he's got however many hundreds of 1,000,000 in the bank and however many you 130,000 acres across the UK or something or hate the Duke of Westminster. I couldn't give one flying fuck about what the Duke of Westminster is like. I just Maybe he's a nice guy. Maybe is not who gives a goddamn. It shouldn't be his right to exclude me from his land. Um, and if the right is removed, uh, Then again, whether he's a nice or nasty guy, it doesn't matter to me. All of a sudden, England has access to 130,000 more acres of land. And whether the guy that owns it or not is like votes conservative or doesn't you know, like doesn't believe in the welfare state was something like we can get to that later. Let's you know, let's let's give people access to the sort of, um, the kind of natural health service that is the landscape. Andi. Let's allow people access Teo their birthright, which is just the just the glory of nature around us, because, especially when it comes to working class people, when it comes to be a Emmy people there is a orthodoxy or almost a brand of the countryside, that it's basically for white, middle class people to go on. Nice rambles along rights of way, Um, on no one else really like you know, there's evidence to suggest that I'm or to state directly that b A M. People just don't feel welcome in the countryside on DH when you read the history of just how much of the land was enclosed, or how many of these manor houses were built as a direct repercussion of the enslavement of their ancestors. Or you know that there's a myth in England. To be a black or Asian or minority ethnic is to be heard. I don't like so many of the cultures the the's English people come from Ah ah, no urban in the slightest. There's just this off meth in England that urban music and, you know, urban culture is kind of, um, is what we've sort of allowed for minority ethnic groups. But you know, there's a wonderful group called Land in our names that is seeking to sort of destroy that it's a sort of black lead community group that is all about promoting growing on DH access to the countryside. As I mean, they're framing it almost, I mean specifically as reparations for slavery, which I think very radical and very bold and very accurate and very brilliant approach. And it does take a lot of guts. Teo phrase it in that way because that is really gonna put the orthodoxies nose out of joint. But, um, you know, people people is not just about opening up the land. It's about encouraging groups that have have been actively barred from the land to experience it, and then that the generations that followed them will find it more. But it will come to them more naturally kind of thing. Yeah, there's a storey in in the book, the one that the chapter that ideal about slavery on its legacy in the English landscape, on bits, Benjamin's effin ire, Who's you know, this of Robbie Poet? Yeah, you know, off peaky blinders on him and his mate. This was a few years ago, him and his mate, he went to visit, is made in Essex and is made, owns a bit of land and Essex. And they were just joking. They went for a job before lunch or something. Uh, never like something like two police helicopters ended up in the ad because of residents have reported two suspicious black men running away from something in the countryside. And you know that the point is, you know where they are. Were they treated this way because they were black or the same point but frase slightly differently where they treated this way because no one else was black. You know, it's such a rarity in the English landscape for multiculturalism or that kind of integration that people automatically assumed that there was something wrong happening, because suddenly ah, Black was out off its orthodox space. You know, it was it was I come. People found that a strange sight on DH. It's not a strange sight, and it shouldn't be a strange sight. And it's only a strange sight, because Britain has this kind of pretend America does, too, like there's no there's no films that talk about black Cowboys. But there's any number of black cowboys, you know that we're farming the land and, you know, sort of rearing cattle in America. Have you seen Queen and Slim? Amazing.
I started to watch it, and then I was far too sleepy. But I was really, really enjoying it.
Yeah, I love it. There's there's a scene in that where one of the characters gets on the horse and says, Um, you know how, how, sort of, um, how dramatic and effect is to American audiences to see a black man on a horse because, well, her dad tells her that it's because people aren't used to looking up to a black person, you know, which the horse sort of automatically does. But that whole idea of rural and black is again, just exists in America and exists in a big way, and there's a huge separate culture regarding it. But the dominant narrative is a black man in earth, and it's just special control. It's just a means of controlling people's movements. Basically, that is the cause of that.
Could I ask you some some cheesy book related questions?
Absolutely. Yeah, yeah.
If you could trespass anywhere where would it be?
Oh, that's easy. That is easy. The book, The last chapter ends with me. Maybe it's like the Italian job. Like, do I or don't I trespass this one place is basically the back garden of Windsor Castle,
right from the
river from the river. Yeah,
I've done that. Stretch of river. Yeah, have you? Very beautiful. Yeah,
Well, on the one side is the Thames path and on the other side used to be a public right of way until this, enclosed by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on DH it. And it's now where Harry and Megan were. It's where Frogmore Cottages. You know, all £2.3 million of renovation, Tio, you know, blah, blah, blah in that park which was once open access until Queen Victoria came around. And it was only in closed because Prince Albert enjoyed bathing in the River Thames and needed he declared privacy so that people didn't see his royal torture on DH. In that park is a tree, an oak tree that was commemorated by Shakespeare in the Merry Wives of Window Windsor. And actually, I'm not wearing it. The one with this. This is rubbish. for podcast, but I'm showing Jeffrey a little independent have off Kernan us. Who is this
guy going on a screen shot that then we can. Okay,
so, Colonel losses, like the kind of ancestor of the green man, is kind of linked to die An Isis and Bacchus. He's linked to Harlequin. He's part of this on his very hey sort of represents, the sort of, you know, he's also the ancestor of Jesus. Really, In terms of this idea of the death of winter in the resurrection of spring, hey is the sort of God of wild, untamed mobile growth on. He's basically pretty cool on the local in Windsor embarks here, which is where I'm from the kind of, um, the alteration of colonels. Is this some kind of letter Lesser God called her who was heard. The hunter on DH is a myth that specifically attached to thiss particular area of land, which is, you know, only recently last 150 years being enclosed, um, on DH even more recently, there are, like, 16 areas in England that have, um, a sort of an upgraded trespass charge attached to them so that if you're caught trespassing there. It's a criminal act on DH. No, not a common law. Crime. So you are. You know, you go straight to prison for a year. Um, on one of these areas of land is home Park, I guess. Just because it's so close to Windsor Castle. Yeah, but it's bloody easy to get. You don't even have to climb a wall to get to it because it's on the River Thames. So the last part of the book eyes me camping out near the Thames path just opposite where this her is called the her Noake. And it's this tree that kind of you know, carries the spirit of Herne the Hunter with it on DH. Ah, it is basically unsure in the book as to whether I do do it or know Basically, I don't because, well, fundamentally, I was going to do it is the final just, you know, the last thing I did the book just do a really naughty one. But actually my brother works for the Foreign Office, and we had quite a sort of awkward Christmas thing, kind of him saying, If you do that, then I could lose my job because that will be That could constitute an act of aggression against the crown. Andi, if you get caught, or you know, I wouldn't even have to get caught because I would have written about it. Yeah, I'm admitted it on, actually. Yeah, exactly. And I could have I could have bean arrested just just by writing about it as well. But it's kind of 200 yards up the Queen Elizabeth walk. You could you could if you stood on your kayak, you could almost see it kind of thing. They're on DH one day. I will definitely see the left hand has come to mean that was a, um, write about it in the book. There was a a spade in the early 18 hundreds of 18 twenties time off poachers that didn't That was so that was so sick and tired of the the fact that they weren't allowed to hunt game anymore because game along with the land was privatised, you know, rented Just like fishing, too. If you want to come and shoot a pheasant or shoot there Ah, you can do it for pleasure if you can pay for it. But you can't do it for subsistence if you can't afford anything else kind of thing. You know, that's how the working class in those days lived. But you could be hanged for it on DH. So they started. Ah, they started poaching midday. They sort of groups of them went in on DH. Devastated the deer stocks, not not Teo notto come away with food but just essentially murdered them. It was like this horrific
big act of
violence. Yeah, and it was quite Robin Hood e in that, you know, when people were arrested for it, they would go and burn the sort of Magistrates bond, or they would sort of break these people out of prison. It was like, I'm not necessarily condoning it, But it was one of thie, one of the more dramatic violent acts against the sort of orthodoxy of land ownership. But they were very much inspired by this character, Herne the hunter who was basically half man, half stack. He was kind of this spectral figure that had, like, antlers, views to his head. And there's a really cool storey about So the answer to your question is I would definitely trespass home park because it's become obsessed with it. And I've got lots of ancient Prince of the Tree. And, you know, I'd like to go and see it.
Is it? I mean, there must be the drawer of her note. Must be pretty big, but also because it's the punishment and being told not to do something Must yeah e a suppose a little bit. But again, like I was saying about that sort of, just because they say it's really
naughty doesn't I don't see it as you know.
Yeah, don't smoke weed
because it's because it's illegal. I smoke weed because it's fun on DH. Then they went and made it illegal. So now that's become like a sort of, I don't know, political stance or something. But in the same way, I don't trespass because I enjoy doing the Basically, If trespass wasn't illegal, I think I'd still do it. I mean, I definitely would still do.
It is just a silly
little rule I ignore basically on DH. So if the rule didn't exist, it wouldn't affect me in the slightest because I'm already ignored.
E I think I think that the vision off you waking up on you on your blow up mattress. Ah, yeah. Leisurely enjoying the dorm chorus and then going and having a little nap. If that doesn't create the biggest outpouring of people, tow the countryside and I really don't know what will. In answer
Sorry and answered like the full answer to do. I think my book will do anything. I don't think the book itself will do a damn thing except for create possible momentum. Just like guys book did to raise the conversation. And we have a CZ we were discussing, you know, before when? When I last saw you, Um, you know, we want to create a campaign on DH. We want Teo Do trespass is and the trespass is we want to do will be pinpointed as to you know, that the history of that land on DH the sort of specifics under which it was enclosed. Ah, nde. You know, we launched a campaign to stop the criminalisation of trespass which is, you know, before covert what the Conservatives have planned to do in their manifesto on what was really interesting about that on the government petitions list. And we got like, 20,000 people in the in the first two weeks kind of thing. There is an interest, but it also has a map off where you know that parts of England that the signatures came from and it's kind of colour coded is toe, You know, the density of people in any one area. Um and that was really interesting to see where interest in right to Rome was an obviously Bristol, which is very sunken in ideas of sort of growing on DH, you know, vegetable grown and anarchism and, you know, sort of also, you're so close to some of the most beautiful landscape in England. Bristol was huge, Got a lot of response from their Sussex was huge. Cornwall was huge. So we will be going. Norfolk was pretty big. Alongside the momentum that the book can give us, we will be going to these places to organise trespass. Is tio basically create a campaign?
Nice. How can people get involved in found out? Well,
there's right to roam dork, which still isn't up yet, but that would be a good one. But, um, land just this dot UK is the sort of overarching Web site that deals not just with right to roam, but with all manner off land rights, you know, from greater access to community growing schemes right through to the most radical thesis of all, which is the idea of taxing the value of the land, which is a whole different podcast. But you know, that is an open, even sacrifice right to roam for, um, for a value for attacks on the value of the land, like the amount of revenue. The basic premise is the landowner doesn't generate the value of the land that the value of the land is related entirely too thie immunities onto the transport infrastructure that is, that surrounds that land. So, yeah, if the taxpayer pays for, say, a new extension to the Jubilee line which happened around Bermondsey in London, like the value of the land sky rocketed around that but it's the taxpayer that paid for that toe happen. But the value goes straight into the private into the pockets of the private land lords there, um, also the value of the land is directly linked to, you know, the hospitals or the bin collections or the council immunities. Or, you know, in Shoreditch, where I live, the sort of you know, the trendy cafes and all of that kind of thing. The landowner has got nothing to do with the value provided by these services on yet the landowner, just by simple virtue of owning that property pockets thie value of the land as everyone else creates it. Um, Winston Churchill was for a land value tax like it's being mooted throughout the last 100 150 years as a way off, generating a vast amount of, um, finance that could be shared between the community and not just go into private capital or private pockets kind of thing.
Do you think that would lead Teo? A lot of people just get sinning there their land and creating more, more common land.
Well, in some circumstances, it would definitely make it not economically viable for certain man lords. Teo say land banking would become point this where people just sort of buy up bits of land on DH. Wait for it to accrue in value a ll. You'd be doing us the land owner. It's a crew in greater value for the community. So I mean, it's such a vast topic. Ah, nde, you know, But the you know, the conservatives say there's no more magic money tree. But if you look into land value tax like there is a magic money land trees grow on, it's just, ah, it. That is the absolutely most radical idea off all of the land campaign on DH For that reason it gets, Ah, the Daily Mail have called it a Marxist garden tax like that. You know, they people froth at the mouth when you talk about that, because it really would change the face ofthe society on it would take it. Would it would re order the distribution of power on wealth in such a way that the people that are currently in charge of it would shit themselves basically. So anyway, yes. Oh, Teo to land justice dot UK All of all of that campaign will be on. There were just a sort of a strand of that wider project.
Nice. And then when's the book?
The book will be out in the last week of August. Nice. So yeah, but who knows what's happening with Cove? It's so wait for when the paper comes out, a man comes out like, six months after that, maybe spring of 2021 to really launch the campaign. Just prep everything for that.
Yeah, it might be not possible together. Large groups. Yeah,
exactly. Although they did in Israel do a protest against the government's you know, the way they were handling Corona virus and the Great Central swear there were 2000 people there, each at two metres distance from each other. It was quite an amazing, you know. And all the organisers were handed out facemasks, et cetera. Um, so but I mean, that seems like a fat, I think. Well, we'd All our trespass is, Would be would just be a nice sort of musical
panic. They have Arambula
walk through some gorgeous land. Yeah, exactly. We wouldn't even be too fast about confronting anyone. Like, you know, we just want a nice old nice old walk, but solidarity, like getto meet other people and actually get to live the you know, the, um the ethics that we espouse just, you know, go for a nice walk with people, Call it a day, you'll be there. Sure.
Yeah, absolutely. Massive. Thanks to Nick for taking the time out is busy. Schedule tio have conversation as per usual. All of the links for things that were talked about in the episode will be on the podcast show Notes Page. I'd also recommend that you get yourself a copy ofthe Nick Hayes's graphic novel that the rime of the Modern Mariner. I'm not sure that I'd ever really read a graphic novel before, and I probably was a little bit hesitant about it. But having discovered Nick's illustrations, I was right in there on DH. It's undoubtedly one of my favourite books. Um, it's probably the book that I've given as a gift to more of my friends than any other. A fantastic storey of morals on DH Looking after the Earth on DH. Just incredibly beautiful, Teo. Sort of wrap it all up. You'll be pleased to know that I have ordered my copy off over Storey and we'll be reading that very soon. If this is your first time listening, then please do consider subscribing on your usual podcast app and drop us a review. If you think it's good on, do keep sending in your feedback. It's really nice to hear more people are thinking on suggestions for guests. I very much welcome that's it, until next time, hope you're well, stay safe
Author, Illustrator & Trespasser
Nick Hayes has published four highly acclaimed graphic novels with Jonathan Cape,including The Rime of the Modern Mariner, Woody Guthrie and the Dust Bowl Ballads and Cormorance. Each one in separate ways focuses on mankind’s relationship with the environment.
As an illustrator he has produced numerous book covers including that for Lark by Anthony McGowan, which won the Carnegie Medal in 2020. He is also a printmaker and political cartoonist for the Guardian and New Statesman.
Hayes first narrative book The Book of Trespass is a Sunday Times Bestseller, published by Bloomsbury in 2020.
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