Damask Way , Warminster
One warm sunny Spring morning, a small group of friends from Sustainable Warminster came together to trespass on land at Damask Way.
This important area of biodiverse land adjoins the local nature reserve, yet has been given outline planning permission for (luxury) housing. Sustainable Warminster, alongside the Town Council, Wildlife Trust, County Ecologist, and many residents have been fighting to keep this valuable green space.
You can climb the gate or squeeze through the barbed wire!
We trespassed the land in part to be able to explore the rich diversity of flora and fauna that has been identified in the Ecologist’s report we crowdfunded for. There are many protected and rare species here including bats, otters, water voles, badgers, toads, and red list species such as Rugged Oil Beetle. Also the extremely rare for Wiltshire -acid grassland habitat.
We sat and enjoyed a picnic with a view over towards Scratchbury Hill with its Bronze Age Barrows and the ancestors keeping a watchful eye….a significant view to those of us who are pagans.
It’s not the first time we’ve trespassed here: we trespassed before in order to set up cameras to prove that active badger sets were being interfered with by ‘contractors’ – a wildlife crime, although to date no-one has been charged.
This, to me, is one of the most compelling justifications for trespass – time and again we have proved that the people excluded from the land – the activists, botanists, birders, naturalists, volunteers, citizen scientists etc are the people best placed to protect this precious land, and to be a voice for nature.
We left a little memento of our trespass.
I saw that later others had actually followed suit and posted their own pics of their little trespass 🙂