Activists dressed up as psychedelic animals trespass British minister’s 12,000-acre estate

Activists dressed up as psychedelic animals and trespassed the 12,000-acre estate of nature minister Richard Benyon on Sunday.

Calling on Benyon to open his estate to the public and extend access for everyone to green space across England, the ‘Right to Roam’ group was accompanied by an all-female morris-dancing troupe.

Nadia Shaikh, a nature conservationist and one of the organisers of the event, told ‘The Guardian’ “This, what we are doing now, is a freedom we should have.”

“So we are acting as if we already have that freedom. We want the joy of meeting in the commons with music and the richness of all these conversations and different people. So yeah, I mean, what else can we do when you ask repeatedly, politely, and it’s still a no?”

According to Shaikh, Benyon had shelved a review for broadening access to the countryside with little explanation.

Demanding an increase in free access, Shaikh highlighted that Benyon’s Englefield estate is the largest in West Berkshire.

Following the Enclosures Act, legal property rights were created for land previously held in common and Englefield estate was a part of it.

Asking him to open up his estate to the public, the Right to Roam campaign sent Benyon an open letter but he did not respond to it.

Pointing out that green infrastructure creates stronger ecological networks, Benyon has argued passionately in the past for the importance of green spaces and links.

(With inputs from agencies)

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