Right to Roam

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UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • I just dont buy into this new massive wave of peeps living on the road,we know it's no walk in the park and many will not last their 1st winter, so dont get too worried.

    This site has very few active members these days and now even fewer who are full time nomadic. It’s not the hippy crew who have swelled the number of folk living in their vehicles. Many of those who now choose this way of life are escaping the property trap and prefer to spend money to reside on campsites, using unofficial stopping places when convenient.
    Just attending the quirky campers festival 2019 showed me the diversity of van dwellers and those making use of converted vehicles these days to explore the country on the cheap or live closer to their place of work, even if they own property not.

    During the 1980’s (convoy days) when even vehicle insurance and mot wasn’t a priority, we were experiencing negative feedback from society and local authorities, resulting in traditional stopping areas being restricted. Many large unofficial sites were closed down.

    Look at the increase of parked liveaboards last year in Brighton. These folk have drawn attention to their situation and that’s a reflection of what could happen should more folk take to living in vehicles and reside in the same place for too long.

    The increase in fuel costs has also reduced the activity of a lot of vehicle dwellers.

  • Its hard to gauge how many are already living full time nomadic lives or want to, or preparing to, or do it part time and because by nature we are usually quite secretive and stealthy and live on a variety of parkups from lay-bys to farms,boatyards and sites i doubt we will get a true number.

    I do know where i live there are 12 of us. All the farms round here have folks living on them as do the official camping sites have unofficial long stayers.Theres a few dozen boat marinas and besides the boat dwellers theres folks quietly living in the boatyards.

    I know a farm a few miles away has dozens of Romanian amd Russians living on it.Another farm has 30 nomads like us.Then theres the obvious overnighters in roadside pullins and field gates.

    I think homeless charities have conservatively estimated 13k people live rough and homeless on the streets. Its likely at very least an equivalent number in borderline poverty live in vans cars and caravans dotted about the country and that doesnt include those who have purposely downsized and escaped from bricks and mortar.

    If you choose any of the popular uk facebook van conversion groups or alternative living groups theres memberships between 10 and 25k and theres probably a sizeable number of them are part time or full time or want to and a fair few dreamers.

    A UK/US group has over 80k members and a lively discussion of active nomads.

    Then if you include the MH forums and groups theres probably a reasonable number of them who are full time.

    The fact is quite a few thousand folks live nomadic or semi nomadic lifestyles and a larger number do it for weekends and hols and although its good to see folks ditching the hamster wheel lifestyle,theres a physical limit as to how many such folks this countryside can absorb without becoming a noticeable problem to the powers that be and then we get faced with control measures.

    We certainly do not want nonsense like Australia has in NSW where its illegal to live in a caravan or tent more than 2 consecutive days on a property without council permission and maximum 60 days in any year.

    Or whats happening in parts of the US where its being made illegal to live in RVs in or near city limits or highways.

    Yes we can all play the system and get round the obstacles thrown at us but isnt it better that we dont end up having draconian measures imposed on us in the first place.? The only way we will avoid that is not growing into a sizeable noticeable nuisance issue to local authorities and government.

    Any control measures are likely to be through strict habitation safety certification,mot and insurance which many nomads will struggle with and end up being pushed off the road altogether. Couple that with strict regulation on parkups and pressure on camping sites,farms etc to rigidly comply with planning laws and many of us would be in the shit big time.

  • What is causing a shedload of damage are the cnts parking up enmasse on public carparks, the majority being weekenders but they are just drawing unwanted attention. If I look for somewhere and there's already a peep parked up I look further. One, I don't encroach on someone who's there first unless I know them and get invited, two, I'm happy on my own for mental peace. Any unwanted intrusion on where I park brings on a darkness for me, I don't do people unless I go to a gathering as they tend to piss me off.

    There's going to be questions asked at some point and a big stick. It won't affect those who are sensible and offgrid as they want off the radar already but it'll mean more care where you stop. Scotland has started, Wales will be next.

  • Points taken Wiz but to be honest how many members of this site actually live on the road here and now?, not many of us me thinks ! I just dont buy into this new massive wave of peeps living on the road,we know it's no walk in the park and many will not last their 1st winter, so dont get too worried.

    Very few will be here, as has been said, the new wave of van dweller isnt so much from alternative slices of society, an awful lot of the ones coming out on the road are well off, well paid middle class suburbanites who have the measn to sell up and the main line of work is computors and tech so the van becomes a mobile workplace. Of course there are alternative types buying their first vehicle but this time round it's like a second wave of glampers gone mobile. Digital Nomads is the generic term for a new wave of transient nomads, earning their money by tech work which can be done anywhere, also blogging, vlogging etc are all earners if someone can turn their hand to it. The growing groups like jobs for camper nomads and the 508D groups on facebook, there's a heck of a lot of people gone or going for it. Websites specialising in jobs for digital nomads have sprung up and is a global thing and it's on the rise and it is getting noticed , its a new wave of throwing the towel in on bricks and mortar. folk really are fed up and tired of working all hours just to pay bills with little to no quality of life. I'm not knocking it, but will be interesting to see how it pans out.