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This one will polarise you! Wild Camp Database.


crinklystarfish

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If this has been done before, I apologise.

 

It is clear that some users ‘overnight’ in places other than official recognised sites. There have been recent posts about such places in Scotland, and Geoff’s recent ‘use my field’ invitation, as well as the ongoing work by Graham, Dave and others, to persuade Local Authorities of our existence and needs.

 

I personally don’t have an ethical issue with motorhomers overnighting responsibly. By which I mean arriving evening time, leaving the following morning, leaving no trace of their stay, and not impacting on anyone’s property rights or enjoyment.

 

And so I have this proposition. I would be prepared to create and manage a database of sites that users have actually stayed on on the above terms, and which have resulted in a quiet, safe and secure nights sleep. I’d restrict it to the UK for now, but who knows?

 

Upon submission of say, 10 such sites, I would make the database available to those submitting locations. 10 more would see the release to the submitters of the latest version etc. If only 10 people came aboard, that’s 100 sites!

 

I foresee the database as including the location of the site, including lat/long or OS grid ref. general description, landowner if known (public body / local authority / Water Company etc.), road access issues, size of ‘van accommodated, general description, and so on. In short, the information you actually need if you do this kind of thing. I would ask for submissions in a standard format to ensure quality data.

 

Of course, there would be the disclaimer that the database in no way legitimises the ‘site’, though in some cases, if places like Geoff’s field are included, at least the landowners express permission is assured. Clearly, where overnight parking is prohibited, either expressed or implied, the site would not be included.

 

I don’t see why the database couldn’t encompass places like Local Authority car parks, Public Body land, quiet dead ends and even places like Geoff’s field, as long as there was a proviso that the owner was contacted first, and in such cases the actual location could be left out and supplied, on the ‘phone, only if the landowner was happy to accommodate.

 

And so over to you, anybody interested? I stress that I in no way want to harm the reputation of motorhomers and would only proceed on the understanding that we are talking about locations used for a responsible one overnight stay only.

 

I haven’t fully worked up the idea yet, but put this into the public domain at this early stage to get a feel for views.

 

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