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Trespassing and the history of rambling

July 2, 2014


by John Bainbridge

Now out in paperback and eBook

CompleatTrespasser Cover
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.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2014 9:43 am

    I had the privilege of knowing Tony Gillett, one of five imprisoned, in the last few years of his life. On moving to Richmond on Thames nearly 30 years ago, Tony turned out to be a near neighbour and a member of the local Labour Party which I joined.

    You might like my blog and, in particular, a post about Blencathra that the FoB asked me to write in order to help spread the word. Here is a link

    There is also an earlier post about my memories of the mountain over the years.

    I take my pen name from the club hut of the Glasgow University Mountaineering Club that sits on the western side of Rannoch Moor. I was custodian of the hut for a few years as a student.

    Will be signing up to your blog.

  2. July 5, 2014 11:14 am

    I’ve enjoyed looking at the blog and glad to have you along. I met Benny Rothman just the once. but have never forgotten the meeting. I dedicated my trespassing book to all of those 1932 trespassers An iconic event!

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