An illegal wild camp on Kinder Scout

Five activists on a dark and snowy hill with a banner reading "No Landowners! The Stars are for everyone"

This is an excerpt of Sheffield Action Group (SHAG)'s Troublemakers zine - this is an action report on an illegal wild camp. The full zine is available to read online at or

Submitted by sheffaction on March 12, 2024

On Friday 13th January 2023, a high court judge decided in favour of the Dartmoor landowners who were challenging the national park authority. This ruling removed Dartmoor as the last area in England and Wales where wild camping was legal. The land access campaign Right to Roam responded a week later by holding a mass trespass on Dartmoor attended by thousands, and we stood in solidarity by organising a simultaneous wild camp on Kinder Scout in the Peak District. This was an illegal trespass, as was then the case for wild camping everywhere in England and Wales. Kinder Scout is especially notable not just for being the highest point in the East Midlands, but also for being the site of the famous 1932 Mass Trespass. This event is dearly held in the popular imagination as a vital step in the fight for open access land - although this was not achieved until nearly 17 years later in 1949, and today it still only covers a pitiful 8% of England and Wales.

Six of us hiked up a treacherously icy Grindsbrook Clough in the fading light, with the temperature plus windchill reaching as low as -10°C. We unfurled our two banners, one specially made reading “No landowners - the stars are for everyone”, and one of our favourites, the iconic and ridiculously big “trans power” banner. Following a photo shoot with a complicated headtorch-based lighting system, a few of us trudged up to the nearby Grindsbrook Knoll to tweet our success with frozen fingers. After fighting to get our stoves lit for some dinner and the mandatory whisky and hot chocolate, we settled into sleep in our four tents, with one brave - or silly - comrade bestie outside in a bivvy bag! In the morning sunrise light, we looked across the beautiful snowy moors, imagining a world without land ownership.

We demand Scotland-style wild camping laws, where the vast majority of the land is available to roam and sleep on. However, this is not enough - we must destroy land ownership, whereby a tiny percentage of the privileged population inherits or purchase the vast majority of the land, managing its ecosystems for their own selfish hobbies, such as tailoring moorlands for grouse shooting. We must rewild our countryside, and open it up to everyone. This is a core part of the action needed to work towards climate and social justice. Furthermore, it is an intersectional issue, as tragically the group who will feel the harshest enforcement of beefed-up anti-trespass and anti-wild camping laws is the Traveller community, who are already subjected to shocking racism by individuals, the press and the state. We must stand in solidarity with them and fight the violence of the state, and the existence of land ownership.

Following a ruling on the 31st of July 2023, wildcamping was made legal once more on Dartmoor. Today Dartmoor, tomorrow the entirety of these isles!