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.
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.
Weaving together the stories of poachers, vagabonds, gypsies, witches, hippies, ravers, ramblers, migrants and protestors, and charting acts of civil disobedience that challenge orthodox power at its heart, The Book of Trespass will transform the way you see England.
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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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.