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In essex will travel

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:41 am
by bushcraftsamurai
Help needed
Firstly a small introduction my name is steve I'm a father of two based in Thurrock essex, sadly I am not a woodland owner but the dream is alive and one day I will be until then I am hoping one of you fine people an help. I am avid bushcraft enthusiast and along with a select group of others try and get out to play in the woods as often as possible to practise our skills and general commune with nature. The problem being finding places to do this safely and legally which is where you may be able to help. Do you have a piece of woodland that you would allow access to a small group of indivuals (never more than 10) we would follow any rules that you set down and operate a leave no trace policy. We would have our own public liability insurance and would be willing to pay a small fee for access. My self and friend Marc we be the old points of contact for any activity and would be happy to meet to discuss terms and prove we are all round good eggs before hand. My other motive for wanting to gain access to such land is to encourage my 11 year old daughter to embrace the outdoors with overnight camps. I sincerely hope that someone is able to help. As the title says I am in essex but will travel. Many thanks in advance. Pm me for email or phone contact. Once again my thanks

Re: In essex will travel

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:01 pm
by Dexter's Shed
Hi Steve, from not only another Steve, but also another thurrock'er
we have had this asked many,many times before, so I gather you'll get the same answer again from most, whether you are aware of it or not, but owning woodland there are rules that we have to follow, the main one is we are only allowed a certain number of days per year to camp in our woods, crazy English law, but they are there to protect us and our woodland, now we all live in the real world, we know that we can push these "number of permitted days" a little in our favour, but having X amount of bushcrafters turning up every weekend for a camp fire pee up will soon get outsiders talking, someone as always will complain, and it then opens a big can of worms for us the owner, the powers that be are then on our backs setting all sorts of hoops for us to jump through, you guys are ok, you can move onto another wood, but we will get it in the ear hole for all time, so not a good idea for those of us that try to keep under the radar.

I was a bushcraft forum member when I first bought my woods, and had plans similar to what your asking above, sadly once your an owner, items of importance change and the woods come first

Re: In essex will travel

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:25 pm
by bushcraftsamurai
Hi steve

Thanks for the reply. I knew it was going to be difficult but never realised there are so many rules and can completely understand the woods come first and I suppose you can see why such rules are in place but nevertheless still frustrating. Just to clarify would not be looking for access more than every third month or so and if needs be would keep the groups much smaller. As I said we /I would abide by any rules set. I suppose if all else fails to have some limited access to be able to introduce my daughter to it would be ideal

Thanks again my friend and truly appreciate your time
Steve c

Re: In essex will travel

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:49 pm
by oldclaypaws
We've had contradicting information about the number of days you are allowed to camp or stop overnight in a wood, and I've now solved the mystery, there are actually two different restrictive bits of legislation.

You cant camp more than 28 days on a piece of land in a year without Planning consent.

If you get planning consent, you still can't camp more than 42 consecutive days or 60 days in any one year without an official camping site license from the council.

That would seem to suggest as Dexter suggests that as many woodland owners do already camp or park overnight on site, its likely that many of us are already technically breaching planning conditions regularly, and to have groups of other people there is likely to draw unwelcome attention from the authorities and restrict our own use of our woods.

There are other countries where 'anything goes', but the UK is densely populated and highly regulated to keep us all neatly in line and avoid anarchy.

Remember, it is still allowed to be PM and bomb other countries with contrived evidence, to manipulate the forex rates and pocket multimillion bonuses, and get your duck Island paid for by the public purse provided you're in the cabinet. Well that's a relief, at least we can do something fun !

Under section 269 of the Public Health Act 1936, the use of land as a camping site for more than 42 days consecutively or 60 days in total in any 12 consecutive months requires a site licence from the Council. In addition, the use of land for tented camping for more than 28 days a year normally requires an express grant of planning permission.
There are exemptions from the licensing requirements and these are set out in section 269 (5) and (6) of the Public Health Act 1936.

Licences are issued with conditions that are appropriate to the site concerned. They normally relate to the layout of the site and the provision of facilities such as sanitary accommodations. It is important that applications are supported by a layout plan showing the boundaries of the site, the proposed positions of tentage, car parking, fire fighting arrangements, sanitary facilities, refuse arrangements, water supplies and access/egress arrangements.

Re: In essex will travel

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:25 pm
by Dexter's Shed
funnily enough, we were having a conversation about bushcrafting-camping the other weekend on a clay shoot we organised, as a local employed guy from a nearby woodland had lost his job and therefore his place to run courses, and he approached one of my neighbours who own's a plot or two seeking permission to hold them in his plot's, now it's apparent from the discussion that followed that it sounds ok trusting the person your talking too, that groups will be kept small and all rules will be followed, but the worry comes from the unknown people that will be attending, it may not even be those attending that cause the trouble, but you know how it is, you have a good weekend in any activity, and you want to talk about it, tell your mates, a once secluded woodland soon becomes common knowledge, not only to the few attending camping trips, but also another few hundred friends or not, a bit like Chinese whispers,

I have had the same happen with shooting permissions, before owning the woods, shooting on a farm can be hard to come by, and once you have one or two, they are normally a close guarded secret, but me being me, I'd offer to take one or two others out on my permissions, either ferreting or shooting, you trusted these people, yet once or twice I was phoned by the farmer, as people had been caught trespassing, yet they had given my name out, saying " we came with mr ****** 3 months ago and thought it was ok"
or they would turn up at the farmers house, saying we came with mr ****** and he said you would give us permission etc

when our woods were owned by one person, they had a groundsman/gamekeeper that looked after the whole woods, ran pheasant shoots etc, he tried getting shooting permission from all the plot holders when the woods were sectioned up, he's a 100% trustworthy fella, and had he wanted permission just for himself, he probably would have be given it, but he wanted permission for 20-30 beaters/local lads too, to walk through putting up the pheasant's, how could we know that they or their friends would not return on other days, name dropping ??

we catch people occasionally wandering off the public footpaths around our plots, they get told to turn around and go back to where they came, or similar wording, but what if they mentioned the name of the next plot holder, said he had given them permission etc, thankfully we all know each other and have contact details, but it's that sort of scenario that put's off most owners from handing out permissions

Re: In essex will travel

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:14 pm
by bushcraftsamurai
Thanks guys. Keep looking I suppose. :(