Liberty, Fraternity, Equality



How lucky are we that, in England, our countryside is, for the most part, still open and free to all.

Today I parked my rather battered Nissan Micra next to a line of Chelsea tractors (shiny jeeps that never see any mud) in front of a multi million pound property and enjoyed a rather fine tuna sandwich and cup of choca mocha from my thermos while enjoying a beautiful view across a lake fringed with beech trees. An egret sailed overhead, ducks splashed in the lake, sheep grazed the meadow. A footpath led off round the lake and no one could stop me or make me pay for using it.

I appreciate that many people don’t have a car to get out to these spots or a job which allows them to be strolling the countryside on a weekday morning and I only have these things because I am a product of a university education which was once also free and available to all and is now, once again, only available to the wealthy, but, parked next to so much wealth and privilege I did feel quietly satisfied that no one can yet charge us for a view.

Blessed be our footpaths and our right to use them.