Image shows a yellowing Sycamore leaf is caught on a barbed white fence. A metal fence is beneath the barbed wire and a tree is in the background.

Trespass, Commons and the Right to Roam

In this episode titled ‘Trespass, Commons and the Right to Roam’ in the Radicals in Conversation podcast, Nick Hayes disentangles the bizarre and abstract ways in which property laws play out around us everyday.

In an accessible manner, Hayes explores the legal fiction of land ownership and property rights and why these need to be challenged. He also presents an important critique of the term ‘recreation’ and its relation to capitalist society-nature relations.

The podcast helps us to understand how deeply entrenched the idea of land as property is within ourselves, and how important access to land is for well-being, mental and spiritual health. Hayes draws on his book, The Book of Trespass, to show how fences and borderlines affect our sense of belonging to land as help to enforce racial and class divides in rural England.

This podcast can be accessed through Podbean, Spotify, PlayerFM and Acast.

“The closer you get to the logic of private property the harder it is to give it any kind of moral or rational substance.”

Nick Hayes, Radicals in Conversation podcast

Nick Hayes is the co-founder of the Right to Roam campaign which advocates for more easy access to land in the countryside. He is the author of The Book of Trespass: Crossing the Lines that Divides Us (2020) and The Trespasser’s Companion (2022).

Radicals in Conversation is a podcast from Pluto Press and produces in-depth conversation with campaigners, authors and academics on radical perspectives on world issues.

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