What a little Hitler this man is…

I’ve had run in’s with him in the past…

A long time ago, perhaps 10 years or so, he told me that I wasn’t allowed to fly power kites on the common near the BBNP Visitor Centre. What he wanted, displaying a complete lack of understanding of the needs of adventure activity providers, was a booking system for the use of any authority owned outdoor location in the BBNP. Madness. But a window into his mind. It’s all about the control you see…

I complained and Gary Evans of Hawk Associates, who was the then main man at SWOAPG, the providers peer group that I envisioned and enabled through the development of The Outdoor Professionals Co-operative, said that he would deal with this matter. Of course, impossible to deal with but easy enough to set aside and brush under the grasses and rocks of the hillsides of the Central Beacons.

Then last year he did this – He’s ruining the van life movement

And now? He seems a little confused…

We were parked up on the roadside at Mynydd Illtyd Common, a spot I have parked and overnighted at for thirty years. It’s working usage with us arriving at 11pm and leaving by 8.30am. We leave no trace and avoid driving on the common. Where is the harm?

I expected a repeat early morning visit and fortunately he did not recognise the van. This made for interesting listening as I was out of sight and his chat was with Kate.

He said that we were not allowed to overnight on the common. Kate said there were no signs. He said there were. She asked where as we had not seen any. He then got a little flustered and said that there couldn’t be signs everywhere and that where there is no sign saying we can overnight then we ought to take that as a clear indication that we cannot. He then went on to say that in Cornwall they have powers to fine vehicle owners £100 (I could hear the desire in his voice) and other counties have powers to clamp vehicles for an hour. He said he would not record our vehicle reg on this occasion. I’m assuming as that’s all he can do and his powers are limited in this matter and so there really is no point. He just felt a need to flex…

So, he says we ought to only park where there is a sign saying parking and overnight where there is a sign saying overnights permitted. Nah… That’s not how it works mate…

My response?

This bloke has no powers. I will continue to park up, a handful of times a year, and overnight alongside the road on Mynydd Illtyd Common. The Central Area Warden can continue to tell me that I can’t do that. He will need to gain powers to act to force me to change something I have enjoyed for very many years.

The thing here is that I do not stand under his authority. Indeed I don’t stand under any authority other than common law and under common law I can travel the highways and byways of the land unhindered if I am doing no harm to property or to others. And that is wholly how it ought to be.

I reject the UK Gov’s move against Vanlifers and I am very well aware that this will increasingly be a battle between the Hitler’s and the free.

And I do understand that this year there is a good deal of pressure on UK countryside. But that is another discussion. The return of freedom to travel abroad would most certainly sort that out and the authority to return us to some semblance of normality is firmly in the hands of the bigger Hitler’s in Whitehall.

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Andrew Lamb avatar
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Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published I opened the first mountain bike hire business in the Brecon Beacons National Park in 1995. Since then my business, Wales Outdoors, has grown and morphed and is now the most active and most popular guided walks and adventure travel provider in Wales. Andy has been a volunteer co-ordinator, guided walks programme organiser and part time central area warden for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, chair of Brecon Beacons Tourism, a Duke of Edinburghs area co-ordinator, a Princes Trust social inclusion manager, the catalyst for the Brecon Beacons National Park Environment Charter and a key motivator for the inception of the outdoor activity peer group, SWOAPG. Join Me! for a walk or two :)