Dismay at campervans crackdown at Cooden

From: Jem Kunz, Teddington, Middlesex

Friday, 18th June 2021, 9:43 am
File: Herbrand Walk/Cooden Beach SUS-200923-115934001
File: Herbrand Walk/Cooden Beach SUS-200923-115934001

I have just read with considerable dismay about the crackdown on camper vans on Cooden Beach. Whilst I totally understand some of the objections I would like to make the following points.

My wife and I live in congested London and have been going to Cooden Beach for 13 in our old camper van. It is pretty much the only holidays we have as we are not high earners. We both suffer from mental health issues and our time on the beach relaxing in our van really does mean the difference between sanity and having problems. Our van is totally self-sufficient with toilet and shower. We bring money into the local community by buying food and drink as do many other camper van users who go there.

We have had ample opportunity to observe the behaviour of the users of the beach. There are parties there which are noisy and they leave a lot of rubbish. That angers us and we often pick up any rubbish we see on the beach and put it in the very well serviced bins on the beach. But I would defend their right to party on their own country’s soil.

However, it is mostly the day trippers in cars that leave the rubbish and disrespect the land. The camper van owners mostly leave as they find or better.

To ban all the pleasure that this beach gives so many people due to the irresponsible behaviour of the few is another example of the type of governing that makes us sad. Every inch of this country is policed and ruled by often arbitrary rules and laws. There needs to be spaces that people can use freely to enjoy OUR countryside and seaside.

My point is that this beach provides us and to my certain knowledge, many other camper van users with an essential refuge. We leave as we find or better. It is the visitors by cars that cause the most damage.

If this facility is taken away from us then I genuinely fear for our and many friends mental health as there really aren’t many places like Cooden Beach.

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