Free Range Naturism

Naturism => Free Range Naturism => Trip reports => Topic started by: Peter S on June 06, 2017, 01:05:03 PM

Title: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: Peter S on June 06, 2017, 01:05:03 PM
Usually my trips to the countryside follow paths that's I've previously explored clothed, so I know what to expect where. The difference with this one was I had concocted it from the footpath map and had never been here before.

It started from a small Cotswold village, the route leaving by a farm track. Once past a large barn it turned out of sight of the last village houses, and that was a good time to get my clothes off. But just a couple of hundred of yards later the path crossed one side of a valley – on the opposite slope a large farmhouse! The place looked like no one was in, but being in full view of about 20 windows I chickened out and put my shorts back on.

Crossing the valley shortly afterwards I finally made it out of sight of the farmhouse and felt comfortable enough to disrobe, and for the next two miles of field and woodland I had the world to my naked self. Across one field I crossed a stile into a sheep pasture – had I been spotted here it would undoubtedly have been open to misinterpretation! Beyond the sheep came three fields where the footpath had not just been ploughed over but planted over and grown over with oilseed rape.

The first field I was able to walk round the edge with no trouble. The second one I tried to force my way through the crop, but the stems and branches meshed together and proved impenetrable. In this field the crop had been planted all the way to the edges, but at least it was tin enough to push through. The rapeseed was shoulder high, the underlying nettles and thistles were fortunately only knee-high. My legs were buzzing all evening from the nettle rash.

In the third field I found tractor tracks I was able to follow to the far corner where the path went through a small wood, before descending into the next valley across an open meadow. Next came quite a stiff climb, first through woodland then out on to open fields again, and again with more sheep. Soon I was approaching the next farm, and reluctantly returned to wearing my shorts as I got close enough to be visible. Once more, the place seemed deserted but I heard a radio playing somewhere so probably someone was home.

But once past the farm and out on to a track that would lead me back the way I'd come, I was able to get comfortable for the rest of the walk. Finally, about a quarter mile short of the village I'd started from, I redressed before arriving back at the car.

Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: Davie on June 06, 2017, 04:01:24 PM
A lovely walk and looking at the stat. pic. well away from other most of the time. My boots are made for walking and they need exercising, as do I!

Davie  8)
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: jbeegoode on June 06, 2017, 10:26:56 PM
It looks to be a nice country walk/hike. I looked at the Pic first to orientate and I could follow with your discription. You answered a question about the first ridge. I'd like to do a hike in a pleasant place like that some day.

There appears to be a good sized darker lumpy forested area to the right side of the screen. Is that forested and could it be utilized?
Jbee
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: eyesup on June 06, 2017, 11:00:06 PM
Had to look up ‘The Cotswolds’. Plenty of place names I’ve heard of. A few pictures I found made it look a very pleasant place for walking. Sounds like a hike of about 5-6 miles, kinda hard to tell from the photo.

My experience with nettles made me wince at your encounter in the fields. Not sure I would have persisted after 1st running into them. When I was a kid I would run into them in East Texas, which is why I try to avoid them. They were called ‘Bull Nettle’.

I still wonder at the apparent ease you and others in the UK move around properties. If there is farming and grazing, are these private lands? How does that work?

Did you take any photos? The pictures I found on the net are nice but seeing your particular route would be better.

Thanks for the post.

Duane
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: Davie on June 06, 2017, 11:10:40 PM
We have the advantage in England and Wales of public footpaths. They exist across all areas if the country even through farmyards. They are old ancient tracks and paths. There is also public access land which is open countryside privately owned but open to the public. We are very fortunate.  In Scotland all open land us available to walk across,  private gardens excepted and of course it's not allowed to damage crops.

Davie  8)
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: Peter S on June 07, 2017, 06:32:58 AM
Yes, the walk was six miles in all (thanks to going round the fields instead of across them!). England's footpaths were originally created from farm to farm, farm to village, anywhere to tavern! It's reckoned that the tavern bit is why so many of them weave rather than go in a straight line ...

Their continued existence is enshrined in law, and farmers aren't supposed to plough them up or put a bull in a field that one crosses. Sometimes, especially if the path is little used, the farmer can get away with burying the path. They are expected to keep gates and stiles in good order, as well. Mostly they're very good about it, at least in this part of the country.

If building work is done affecting a footpath the builder has to go through a long legal process to get the path rerouted, and doesn't always succeed - it's not unusual to find a path crossing someone's garden!
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: eyesup on June 07, 2017, 05:38:29 PM
Quote from: pjcomp
England's footpaths were originally created from farm to farm, farm to village, anywhere to tavern! It's reckoned that the tavern bit is why so many of them weave rather than go in a straight line . . .
   ;D  ;D  ;D
You don’t want to confuse someone, on their way home after a pint (or 2), accustomed to where the path has always been.

The old section of my home town has streets that seem to do the same. An old friend of my dad would say that the streets were layed out by a drunk on a blind horse. The older the town the more random the streets and roads are.

What a great tradition. I would hope that users do keep in mind that their rights only apply on the footpath. It’s like when I go camping, it is common courtesy to not just cut through someone’s campsite when walking through a camping area. Just walk past and keep your eyes on what’s in front of you.

Duane
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: Davie on June 07, 2017, 06:03:39 PM
Many footpaths are signed. The problem arises when the signing stops and there's a confusion of fields, hedges and gates. Sometimes getting back onto the path you want tests navigation. All good fun

Davie  8)
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: jbeegoode on June 07, 2017, 06:49:34 PM
Yes, the walk was six miles in all (thanks to going round the fields instead of across them!). England's footpaths were originally created from farm to farm, farm to village, anywhere to tavern! It's reckoned that the tavern bit is why so many of them weave rather than go in a straight line ...

Their continued existence is enshrined in law, and farmers aren't supposed to plough them up or put a bull in a field that one crosses. Sometimes, especially if the path is little used, the farmer can get away with burying the path. They are expected to keep gates and stiles in good order, as well. Mostly they're very good about it, at least in this part of the country.

If building work is done affecting a footpath the builder has to go through a long legal process to get the path rerouted, and doesn't always succeed - it's not unusual to find a path crossing someone's garden!
So, the farmer who planted nettles is being kind of a prick and messing with public right of way?...yea, there is a pun in there.
Here, if a trail isn't used for like 12 years, the right goes away. If it is used for 12 years, it is tradition and has becomes an access.
Jbee
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: eyesup on June 07, 2017, 10:41:31 PM
Ya' don't plant nettles where I'm from.
They just grow, unwanted!  :-X  ;)

Duane
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: Bob Knows on June 07, 2017, 11:00:54 PM
Ya' don't plant nettles where I'm from.
They just grow, unwanted!  :-X  ;)
Duane

I was thinking the same thing.
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: nuduke on June 08, 2017, 12:01:03 AM

Quote
They are expected to keep gates and stiles in good order, as well. Mostly they're very good about it, at least in this part of the country.
I think the Cotswolds tend to be more treasured and respected for its beauty.  Here in rural Lincolnshire, amongst the high intensity arable farming, whilst some Farmer's respect the footpaths, styles and gates, it is not uncommon to find access points across footpaths with a gate but with barbed wire on it, or keep out signage where there is an obvious right to roam.  Our local river walk crosses several people's land and some of them ensure the fences keep people from walking the section of the river that is their land (e.g. with electric fencing).  True, some of them have sheep to retain but I've never seen a sheep operate a kissing gate! :)


[quote-"eyesup"]I still wonder at the apparent ease you and others in the UK move around properties. If there is farming and grazing, are these private lands? How does that work?
It's not that easy, Duane.  Pete's report gives account of the fact that you can't walk far without encountering houses, farm buildings etc etc. where it is not so good to just walk through someone's backyard effectively.  As I have said before, there is very little land in the UK that's not owned by someone.  There is a statutory right to roam on mountains, moors, heaths and downs that are privately owned. It also includes common land and some land around the coast but it has limitations, I think.  You can't roam on railway tracks and I think it doesn't apply to farmland unless the owner has given permission (can anyone verify that?).  Yes there is farming and grazing and some farmers are very sensitive (rightfully) about people with dogs harassing their sheep or cattle.
It's also quite hard to get out of sight in very flat Lincolnshire as I have remarked before.


John

Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: jbeegoode on June 08, 2017, 12:08:12 AM
Is there is only one reason for the farmer to propagate these vile green creatures, to hide rabbits!

 "Hare take some oh deeze smat pills."

" Oh ber rabbid, Dose dunt look lack smat pills. Dem rabbit raisins!"

"See, yo giddin smatar allready."


"Your honor, I didn't plant those to discourage ramblers. Who plants nettles? They came about quite naturally."
Jbee
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: jbeegoode on June 08, 2017, 12:12:04 AM

If building work is done affecting a footpath the builder has to go through a long legal process to get the path rerouted, and doesn't always succeed - it's not unusual to find a path crossing someone's garden!
So, you are naked gardening and someone rambles through. What then?
Jbee
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: Peter S on June 08, 2017, 08:29:35 AM
Just to clarify ( for JBee) no one plants nettles, eye just are. I've yet to come across a naked gardener on a footpath, but I guess if you garden naked you don't buy a house with a footpath, or you don't mind!

While John's right about never being far from habitation (and I don't envy him the Lincolnshire sight lines) in the Cotswolds the hills and woods give plenty of scope for not being seen. I was out yesterday on a 14-mile hike that was more field than woodland, and aside from a couple of outlying farms and short stretches of road, plus one village (where there was a stop for BEER) the whole trip was possible naked. Didn't see a soul, didn't even hear a tractor. a bit over 10 miles of the 14 were free range, the warmth of the day and the exertion countered by the stiff breeze that's always blowing on top of the Wolds (wold, from Old English 'wald' meaning woodland, but ironically now meaning open country on rolling hills, usually chalk and limestone).


(Picture shows what it's like when the farmer leaves a path through the crop instead of ploughing over)
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: jbeegoode on June 08, 2017, 07:46:05 PM
I certainly prefer this system to no trespassing signs and public blockages. The old trail that bisected my property now is in the middle of my livingroom. I build a nature trail around the house for walkers and horses. People just stopped using the right of way that I gifted. I never had to put up the sign stating, "Warning, you may encounter friendly naked gun toting witches ahead," something to the effect, "Come on through, but mind your own business." ;)

Another 10 miles freely! Glad to hear of us getting out and about. I'll be using a certain trail more frequently this season, but can't write about it over and over, without being redundant. Guess that's what "How was your month" is for.
Jbee
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: eyesup on June 09, 2017, 05:57:18 PM
Quote from: pjcomp
I was out yesterday on a 14-mile hike that was more field than woodland, and aside from a couple of outlying farms and short stretches of road, plus one village (where there was a stop for BEER) the whole trip was possible naked.
Take a look at these landscapes and try and guess how much I would enjoy a stop for a BEER along the way.

I am envious!

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4253/34791642680_0e0f4e5f5f_m.jpg) (https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4253/34791642680_0e0f4e5f5f_b.jpg)
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4268/34368879273_c0de989273_m.jpg) (https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4268/34368879273_c0de989273_b.jpg)
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4274/35138313706_eefdeea62e_m.jpg) (https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4274/35138313706_eefdeea62e_b.jpg)
No BEER heer!ummm, nope, no BEER heer either!still none! Dang!

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4282/34368872153_651a979dff_m.jpg) (https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4282/34368872153_651a979dff_b.jpg)
. . . still lookin’

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4217/35138332516_6ed842341d_m.jpg) (https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4217/35138332516_6ed842341d_b.jpg)
I guess water will have to do!

Isn’t the German word for wood or forest also ‘wald’? Which is likely how it came to be in Old English!

Duane
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: eyesup on June 09, 2017, 05:58:15 PM
Quote from: Jbee
"Come on through, but mind your own business."
Did they continue using it or just stop using it after you moved in? In America the concept of privacy is pretty strong. I can see why most would hesitate.

Quote
So, you are naked gardening and someone rambles through. What then?
Invite them to have a seat for a cup of tea or coffee?

Since you would be on private land, and they are on government protected land, who has jurisdiction? The town, the county, the national government?

If it is a government controlled byway, does that qualify as being seen by the public? Very odd!
Good question Jbee.

Duane
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: JOhnGw on June 09, 2017, 06:58:13 PM
Answering that set of questions, Duane, could keep a team of lawyers in luxury for years.
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: Peter S on June 09, 2017, 08:12:09 PM
Our footpaths aren't government owned or protected in the way I think those terms would be understood in the US. They're rights of way in common law, and they're public simply because they've been there so long. The law says they can't be diverted without a lot of legal hassle, and owners of the land they cross aren't supposed to interfere with them in any way. County councils have the responsibility to look after them - which in practice means mapping them and telling off landowners who plough them up or block them, but in real life they're very low priority for cash-strapped councils. Most of the care and maintenance gets done through voluntary groups, such as the Ramblers' Association, who enjoy walking the paths so have a vested interest in keeping them open.

If you buy a property with a public footpath across it, whether it's a farm or a back garden, you have to keep the path open, even if that means people walking past your back window. There have been cases in the past where house builders didn't do their homework and footpaths have actually passed through houses, and you can bet there were local walkers who exercised their rights!

To go back to the original conundrum, if you were naked gardening and a footpath came through your garden, I don't think either side would have cause for complaint. Equally, I don't think it's ever been tested.
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: nuduke on June 09, 2017, 11:58:45 PM

Quote
They're rights of way in common law, and they're public simply because they've been there so long
And then there's riparian drainage law!  Don't get me started Pete!
:D
John
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: jbeegoode on June 10, 2017, 02:42:44 AM
Water rights, damming up the creek? That sounds like the old rancher, cowboy stories, the Corps of Engineers, and well water. Big deal around here, that stifles lots of rambling and enjoyment of nature.
Jbee
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: rrfalcon on June 10, 2017, 03:32:26 AM
For an amusing, fictional, but accurate take on New Mexico water law, read a  book from the 1970s or 80s - "The Milagro Beanfield War". Part of it describes an old Mexican/Indian farmer casually digging his way across a new yuppie tennis court to open up the acequia needed to irrigate his beanfield. The irrigation ditch is part of his property rights, and the suburban yuppie had no right to fill it in even though it was on the yuppie's property. It's a funny book with a good take on the conflict between old-time land owners and nouveau-riche suburbanites in New Mexico.
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: jbeegoode on June 10, 2017, 05:42:47 AM
Loved the movie. Maybe I should put the book on the reading list.
Jbee
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: eyesup on June 10, 2017, 05:33:21 PM
Quote from: rrfalcon
The irrigation ditch is part of his property rights, and the suburban yuppie had no right to fill it in even though it was on the yuppie's property.

Water rights and water wars have probably caused as much conflict as gold. There are surface rights and sub-surface rights. City dwellers not familiar with the old systems do get confused and frustrated when they encounter it. But you should do your homework. See my previous post here (http://freerangenaturism.com/forum/index.php?topic=959.msg8443#msg8443).

There are land owners that still own rights over a century old and they defend them aggressively. In a desert, water is life.

Duane
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: jbeegoode on June 10, 2017, 06:54:48 PM
In the movie, it was an aggressive greedy belligerent real-estate developer. The paradise to a parking lot type.
Jbee
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: eyesup on June 10, 2017, 09:12:51 PM
My wife and I were discussing recent developments in politics and naturally the subject drifted to tribalism. ;) We talked about how small groups and communities have always suffered when coming in contact with explorers from empires.

I remarked that when the Europeans landed in the north eastern parts of America they were able to take advantage of the tribes here. The reasons are many but one in particular didn’t have anything to do with technology. The native people back then did not have the European concept of ownership of the land. It belonged to the people that lived on it, not to an individual.

They took care of it and lived in and on it because they believed that they were a part of it. When they traded for those trinkets on Manhattan they did not understand the idea of buying land. This was a concept they did not know or understand. Theirs was a concept the Europeans did not know or understand.

Two groups talking at cross purposes. And here we are today.

Duane
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: John P on June 13, 2017, 05:14:28 PM
You have to remember that when English colonists landed in Massachusetts in 1621, they were following a series of European visits which had sometimes carried disease to the Indians. In the preceding few years, there was a devastating epidemic (smallpox and/or something else) which essentially destroyed the society of the coastal Indians. The "Pilgrims" gave thanks to their God that He had presented them with so much good farm land with nobody to dispute it! (And clearly demonstrated who was fit to live there--manifest destiny in its early stages.) The Indians who remained were willing to trade, and with so few of them left, at first there was no reason to argue about land rights.

Here's a short history of one of the last Indian leaders, Nanepashemet. I've mentioned hiking in Middlesex Fells, where there's a "Nanepashemet Path"; there's also a historic marker near the location of the fort where he made his last stand against a rival tribe in 1619. Perhaps by then, he'd already lost most of the warriors who could have helped him fight.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanepashemet
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: jbeegoode on June 13, 2017, 08:37:41 PM
My early education was growing up in Virginia and Europe at an American school, except a couple of years in New Mexico. Consequently, I was seeped in Civil War and Revolutionary War history. There wasn't much about the Indians, but the usual myths and growing corn, etc. in school. It was all about white colonists. I've casually picked up just a few things since on Eastern Native Americans.

There was much more of each American regions tribes taught in third grade in New Mexico, where we would find Indian pottery shards while at play. There was that time when some a bozo in the Little League, slid into FIRST base and uncovered human remains, turning the ballpark fields into archeological excavations of a burial ground for the rest if the season. So, there was the limited foundation of knowledge for me.

Residing in the southwest, for all of these years, I'm orientated to the local history and culture and the great plains where I have some ancestry. So, to read of documented historical information is a surprise and a treat. It is a very different place back east, but when I read such things, I am awash in associations sights, smells and running in the forests and tide waters as a kid, imagining what it was like. Fun. Gotta get back east again and spend some time exploring anew, reminiscing and reacquainting...naked when possible. I do that out here; I hang out naked in ruins, trails and habitat and project.

There is also interest in the world of my white family arriving in the east from 1642 and greater interaction through to the revolution through family stories. Thanks for the link to play with this morning. Piece by piece, it is fun.

Individual rights, and written documents may have been foreign, not possessing land may be a spiritual concept for some, but I have to question sources like Eyesup's. I'm jus' sayin', and definitely am not taking a stance, but it would seem that there is a strong dependence on this idea that all Native Americans didn't know how to own land. I do see documentation and circumstantial surmising, suggesting that there was a strong tribal possession concept in the understanding of the concept of ownership of land. There is a strong indication of a concept of being of and a part of the Earth, for many, much more humble than the Europeans. This not possessing or controlling land makes sense in the plains in a nomadic state of say chasing Buffalo, but back east, considering diversity and dense populations, agriculture, I gotta have some doubts of the accuracy. So, an individual claim to possession as ownership would conflict, but tribal, group territories and trading trinkets for control could be in the realm of understanding for both parties. Delineation of rivers and mountains existed.

And then for example, my ancestors moved into the plains in the early 1830's and built sod homes, raising grain, which they turned into bread, which they then traded with the locals for meat. They didn't own the land, but there was a "my stuff and your stuff," a place to be without hassle and there was abundance.
Jbee

 
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: eyesup on June 15, 2017, 09:32:43 PM
I have read and heard from different sources that the exchanges in biological cultures that resulted from the 1st encounters between natives and Europeans was significant on both sides. But, as John says, more so on the American side. They were unable to recover from it. Aside from the devastating effects of smallpox in the Americas, I have read that syphilis was carried back to Europe by Columbus’ crew. So there were terrible costs on both sides from initial contact.

We watched a show on PBS years ago essentially made from Jared Diamond’s, ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’, that highlighted how western civilization was so much more prepared for exploration than any other on the planet. You could make the argument that infectious diseases brought here from Europe would probably qualify today as genocide.

World explorers. From Indonesia, Phoenicia and Europe, it’s been going on a long time.

Duane
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: jbeegoode on June 16, 2017, 04:02:06 AM
I have read and heard from different sources that the exchanges in biological cultures that resulted from the 1st encounters between natives and Europeans was significant on both sides. But, as John says, more so on the American side. They were unable to recover from it. Aside from the devastating effects of smallpox in the Americas, I have read that syphilis was carried back to Europe by Columbus’ crew. So there were terrible costs on both sides from initial contact.

We watched a show on PBS years ago essentially made from Jared Diamond’s, ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’, that highlighted how western civilization was so much more prepared for exploration than any other on the planet. You could make the argument that infectious diseases brought here from Europe would probably qualify today as genocide.

World explorers. From Indonesia, Phoenicia and Europe, it’s been going on a long time.

Duane
Yea, many tens of millions dead from diseases, the rest enslaved and worked to death by the tens of thousands, wiping out entire populations routinely, that qualifies as genocide. That was just Columbus and company in the beginning between 1495 and 1515 in the Caribbean.  Cruelty like selling human body parts as dog meat in the Panama market is a step further, I suppose. I don't think that comparing that to the outbreak of VD is a fair comparison.

One reason for the genocide was about the Native Americans who were first sold as slaves in Spain (Columbus went back for 500, of which 200 died in transport). There was disgust at how civilized THEY weren't. The complaint was that they would stand in the market place entirely oblivious and comfortable naked, "like animals." This naked savages attitude created the policy for centuries and still is in vogue among highfalutin throwbacks today ("they're still out there"). These are among the roots of our predicament. Ethnocentric attitudes believing different people as less than human, because they are naked, natural and nice to others.
Jbee
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: eyesup on June 16, 2017, 07:44:59 AM
Quote from: Jbee
I don't think that comparing that to the outbreak of VD is a fair comparison.
I am not saying that the two are equal. The Europeans brought smallpox and they took syphilis back to their home. Unfortunately smallpox is infectious, with syphilis there has to be contact it moves much slower..

When you embark to explore, the danger is more than merely a physical one. Misunderstanding between cultures is probably the most ignored aspect of follow-up contact. There is the initial contact where those exploring find a new people and culture. Then there is the follow-up where those bearing the cost seek compensation. No matter the culture, the need to be compensated is very strong. Therein lie the possibilities of depravity.

Duane
Title: Re: Walk in the Cotswolds
Post by: nuduke on June 17, 2017, 11:40:31 PM

Unlike the water laws and sharing rights for water in the US discussed below, the riparian drainage laws in the uk deal with how to get rid of the enormous excess of it which falls upon our heads in this land!


John