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A love of the land

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In Scotland we have this pretty nifty thing.  Sometimes it’s garbled up with words like “land reform” and “act” and legalese jargon that is hard to swallow but most commonly, you’ll hear us call it a “right to roam.”

You’ll hear us whisper it in the darkest of night, as we traverse through a field and stop to stare at the sky, you’ll hear us proclaim it as we explore peninsulas and hidden alcoves. It’ll echo from the walls as we scramble through caves.

I like to think this right is about a lot more than just land.

A love of the land

This is not a picture of scotland

 

I like to think that we have a right to roam because roaming is in our nature. We’ll roam across the mountains as easily as we roam across our minds, and we’ll let both lead us wherever they see fit. We give ourselves this freedom, to walk and explore and eat and sleep where we choose, perhaps because freedom is a part of who we are.

I can’t imagine living in a place where I didn’t have rights to access the land — where it wasn’t in the very nature of people to let others roam across fields and rivers and gorges for the sake of reaching the horizon.

I hope that one day everywhere has the same freedom to the land as here. There’s a great freedom in knowing you can aim for that horizon, and take off into the hills which ever way you choose.

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5 comments

Misha Gericke January 22, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Sounds like a lovely tradition. Doesn’t work that way here in South Africa.

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Mia Hayson January 24, 2016 at 9:53 pm

No? I guess it’s different too because there’s a lot of unusable land here… the mountains can’t be farmed or used in any way so it kind of makes sense to share them?

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Su Wilcox January 24, 2016 at 4:31 pm

That was one of my favourite things about Scotland! In the US, it’s tricky–people used to be more open to others just wandering across their fields or whatever, but because of our lawsuit culture there are a lot more “No Trespassing” signs than not. 🙁

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Mia Hayson January 24, 2016 at 9:52 pm

No trespassing signs sound awful 🙁 most often people passing through have no intention of damaging property, you know?

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Tessa Conte January 28, 2016 at 11:48 pm

Walks are the bomb. ; P

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