There are key areas that we campaign in, these include reducing racism and prejudice towards nfATs, educating people outside the Travelling community and standing up for our right to live a nomadic lifestyle or a settled lifestyle on land we own in a temporary dwelling or more permanent home. Read more about our campaigning, aims and objectives here.
If you have been keeping your eyes peeled and your ears open recently regarding the current governmental consultation that seems set on course to Criminalise Trespass, then you'll know that there's no better time for us to showcase a good example of why we need to fight against this consultation, which could inevitably remove our 'Freedom Of Movement' rights here in the UK if turned into law.
The newly proposed legislation currently in consultation will not only affect nfAT's collectively, it will affect all human beings residing or visiting the UK! It will affect us now and it will affect future generations to come. You can read the proposed legislation, ‘Strengthening Police Powers to Tackle Unauthorised Encampments’ HERE
Criminalising Trespass is not solving problems, it is only breeding more problems and Negotiated Stopping has been used without necessary signed paperwork being implemented for decades! Why then, is it only recently that the government are backing plans to carry out an all over campaign to make Negotiated Stopping the new thing? This is one topic, among many, that needs to be discussed around the fireside, at gatherings, in vehicles and trailers across the country. It may seem like a solution to many problems but it could also have other far reaching implications and underlying cloak and dagger controlling small print rules that are not currently being questioned.
It is a fact that our absolute right as human beings to travel nomadically is being questioned and this is not ok! No one should be questioned, controlled, arrested or have their homes seized for choosing a nomadic lifestyle, nor should they be stopped from protesting against unfair and unjust laws and legislation or arrested for being homeless. If you have bought land, you should be allowed to stay on it, not told you can't! It is not a criminal act to want the freedom to roam within our beautiful country. It is criminal to say that we can't!
"Whos Land? ... OUR LAND!"
The consultation on Criminalise Trespass closed on 4 March 2020. There is still no news from the government concerning the outcome.
Public Rights of Way.
On 1st January 2026, unrecorded and under recorded historic public rights of way will cease to exist. Just let that sink in for a minute!
Those public rights of way that are not mapped out on the definitive maps before 1st January 2026 will cease to exist, with inevitable extinction on the cards for many scenic and beautiful ancient paths, restricted byways, bridleways, stopping places and common land. This needs support and encouragement from everyone to stop it from happening in 2026 NOW!
Ancient routes and green lanes throughout the country have been used as stopping places for centuries by nfAT's. Many are still used today, (especially by our Horsedrawn nfAT's) and they will be shut down, reclaimed and un-accessible for public use. Green lanes, common lands and stopping places that we currently have legal access to will be blocked off from access indefinitely if they are not saved and documented on definitive maps and arrests will be made if you choose to stop on them.
Stopping places and travel routes will become nothing more than a distant memory spoken within conversation or documented for reading purpose and sadly, future generations that have never experienced their beauty in transit probably never will.
Very few are aware of these closures, and during consultation within parliament regarding nfATs, topics of discussion such as the criminalisation of trespass and the closures in 2026 are not spoken of. Pathways and bridleways have quite a strong supportive campaign community, but byways, stopping places and common land have very little. Unauthorised stopping seems to be the keyword jargon in conversation when addressing the need for stopping places for nomadic travelling purpose, and newly supported negotiated stopping is seen by many as the majority vote for a solution.
All of this is completely irrelevant anyway if the criminalisation of trespass comes into fruition, unless maybe the Negotiated Stopping plans could actually lead us to an alternative mutually beneficial agreement thereafter? It is hard to view mutual negotiations and trust within government gateways and the 'establishment' in general without cynicism when looking back through the history of trying to negotiate a fair deal for Nomadic people.
Racism and Prejudice.
Fascism and Bigotry towards nfATs, (or indeed anybody) is not ok in any shape or form! Prejudice against people leading nomadic lifestyles including ethnic Gypsy, Romany, Pavee and Traveller peoples is rife and always has been. This is not ok and is in fact illegal and unacceptable! Ethnic cleansing is not ok in any shape or form and we need to work as a collective with other campaign groups to help campaign against this within government legislation.
We need to get this message out there by opening our doors to a wider community and showing a good example of who we are to help alleviate the myth that we are all crusty, drug addict, alcohol fuelled mainstream dropouts. This is so not the case and we need to prove this by good example and through regular interaction with the general public. We need to show them who we really are and to educate those with bigoted views against nfATs.
We need to educate by inviting outsiders to converse with us in a calm and welcoming environment that they feel comfortable visiting. We need to talk about the respected cultural differences between ethnic GRT groups and other Nomadic nfATs, but at the same time to promote integration and community cohesion to all because ultimately, we are all human beings just trying to get on with our lifestyle choices.
Minority groups, nfATs and the financially under privileged have been targeted abusively for decades. Now, along with the homeless, those that own their own land, and those protesting against unfair and unjust laws and legislation concerning nomadism (as well as other ecological areas of concern), are being portrayed as criminals. The vile Priti Patel's consultation regarding the criminalisation of trespass has led even more people throughout the country to view these people as criminals that need to be stopped. This is despicable, prejudice against nfATs is rife within parliament and viewed by the majority of our mainstream communities and public service leaders as the last acceptable form of racism. This too is absolutely not ok!
nfATs Collective and foTHC are using the hub and Firepit space to create an eye opening visual exhibition, to collect and impart knowledge, raise awareness and promote the campaigns we are involved with.
Children are welcome to share the space with us if accompanied by a parent or guardian and we usually have one or two members of the Hedge-U-cation team with us on tour to promote an education more geared towards families and the younger generation.
The educational side of nfAT's is mainly focused on the task of educating mainstream communities about why we are campaigning to help secure our legal rights as human beings to roam freely throughout the UK. What most people don't realise is that we are not only campaigning for ourselves, we are in fact campaigning for everyone!
We also aim to give a visual history of travelling people in our photograph exhibition and are more than happy to talk to anyone visiting the space about the history of travelling people. We would especially like to welcome people from outside of the travelling community to come and talk to us about our chosen lifestyle.
We intend to provide an all-inclusive educational and promotional space that is driven by a diverse collection of group members safely and legally, to enable discussions and foster co-operation, consensus and respect between all nfATs. We are aware of the challenges that are faced and the cultural differences we have within each individual culture of Travellers. We need to work together as nfATs communities rather than against each other to enable forward thinking movement and to ensure that our nomadic lifestyles, ancient routes and stopping places are not eradicated from existence here in the UK.
That’s why the education is essential and that’s why we need the horsebox hub out there with the exhibition on tour both at festivals and at random pop-ups all year round up and down the country, weaving through community events, village greens and town & city green spaces.
Divided and ruled by the elite is not what any of us envisage for our future generations and neither is the eradication of our rights and those of our children and our children's children.