While our nation is focused on the Wisconsin Democratic Primary this evening, I've been catching up on the Wild Camping Petition in the U.K. At stake is the right for British hikers to camp legally on wild lands that are privately owned.
The text of the petition reads as follows:
Currently without the landowners consent it is illegal to wild camp on the moors, mountains, National Parks and MOD land. It is time to give people the same rights as those given North of the Border in Scotland to allow them to wild camp in these places without threat of legal action.
As a US Citizen, it's interesting to see how the British political process has been transformed by the Internet and activist bloggers and to wonder whether the Brits are onto something that might make the political process in our own country more transparent and functional again.
One year ago the British government launched a new online service called e-Petitions based on the longstanding tradition of members of the public presenting petitions at door of 10 Downing Street. And now quoting:
The ePetitions service has been designed to offer a modern parallel, which is more convenient for the petitioner. Unlike paper-based petitions, this service also provides an opportunity for Number 10 to respond to every petitioner via email.
Since its launch in November 2006, the ePetitions site has proved to be a highly popular innovation, helping people communicate with Government and with the Prime Minister's Office. ePetitions has become a part of the landscape of debate in the UK.
The service allows any UK citizen to create a petition and collect signatures via the website.
Isn't this incredible? Can you imagine having this kind of access at a local, state or national level in the U.S.? It certainly gets you thinking.
Now back to the Wild Camping Issue, and who better to explain it than the UK Hiking Bloggers?
John Hee, Walkabout in the UK
dawn's pages – thought provoking
Good luck on the vote