Landscapes of Freedom is an exciting new collective of people passionate about ensuring public access to the South Downs.
We believe it is fundamentally wrong that 92% of all of England’s land and 97% of its waterways are off limits to the general public. We are campaigning for a Right to Roam so that people across the nation can have access to the countryside, just like in Scotland today.
Here in Sussex the limited right to roam on unimproved down pasture and heath introduced in the year 2000 has brought only minor enlargements of access land. Most of our countryside, including most of our Downs, remain inaccessible. This includes areas which are officially ‘access land’ but can only be accessed through trespassing!
This movement is determinedly non-violent, anti-hierarchical, intersectional and justice based. We affirm an anti-discriminatory vision and mission. We know about the brutal legacies of enclosure, slavery and colonialism which have propped up the British aristocracy for centuries and have simultaneously severed people, particularly those most marginalised, from the land, while lining the pockets and expanding the estates of the richest. Once again, it is those made poor and disposessed who have had to pay for the crimes of the richest.
The countryside belongs to us all and Landscapes of Freedom is committed to a campaign for public land centered around intersectional justice for all communities. We are a peaceful campaign which is determined to help preserve Downland for future generations and which recognises the importance of biodiversity and people’s connection to the natural world as being central in the global struggle for climate justice.
For more information about fellow organisations also working on land justice, please visit:
The Right to Roam – “A national campaign to expand the Countryside & Rights of Way (CRoW) Act in England so that millions more people can have easy access to open space, and the physical, mental and spiritual health benefits that it brings.”
Land in Our Names – LION – “A grassroots Black-led collective committed to reparations in Britain by connecting land and climate justice with racial justice.”