ENTERTAINMENT

Swamp and son: The 16-year-old HS2 protester joins his father, who lives in a tree


The 16-year-old son of the veteran eco-warrior & # 39; Swampy & # 39; together with his father protested against the HS2 railway line after the activist after & # 39; quiet ten years & # 39; returned to the frontline of environmental activism.

The activist, real name Daniel Hooper, has teamed up with son Rory with an HS2 rebellion group to oppose the eviction from forests that are scheduled for eviction.

Swampy, 47, and eight other activists have lived in a tree nicknamed "The Beancan" in Jones & # 39; Hill Wood in Aylesbury, Bucks, as of October 1.

So far, eleven demonstrators have been arrested in the old forest area.

Father of four, Swampy, has stayed firmly in the tree as the HS2 National Eviction Team removed similar tree house structures

Teenage boy Rory and his father occupied the tree in Jones & # 39; Hill Wood

Teenage boy Rory and his father occupied the tree in Jones & # 39; Hill Wood

After "quiet ten years" Daniel Hooper is back to protest against the HS2 railway line

After "quiet ten years" Daniel Hooper is back to protest against the HS2 railway line

The forest area is one of 20 locations identified by HS2 as targets for clearing and soil work as of October 1st.

The father of four Swampy stayed firmly in the tree when the HS2 National Eviction Team removed similar tree house structures from the treetops around them.

Swampy is still excited about his role in the HS2 insurrection.

He refused to speak to a reporter who told another activist he did not like the cult of celebrity.

59-year-old protester Mark Keir, one of 30 people who camped on the ground in the forest, said: “When he stands on the tree, he says everything he has to say.

“Everyone knows they're up there – and it's a great endorsement for us because it pays a lot of attention to our campaign.

“It has brought a lot of people here, which really gives us a platform to get our message across as to why we are here.

"He's very welcome here."

Swampy, son of middle-class Berkshire parents Peter and Jill, was first involved in environmental protection when he became a figurehead for protests against the A34 Newbury bypass in 1996.

A year later, he lived for seven days and seven nights in a tunnel dug by activists to stop the £ 50 million two-lane A30 connecting road in Devon.

He told ITV he didn't enjoy being seen as a figurehead at a young age.

Then he said, "I hated it, it wasn't what I wanted to do and I don't think it was very good for the movement."

Swampy and eight other activists have occupied a tree in Jones & # 39; Hill Wood in Aylesbury, Bucks

Swampy and eight other activists have occupied a tree in Jones & # 39; Hill Wood in Aylesbury, Bucks

The activist then disappeared from the public eye. In 2013, he worked as a tree surgeon for the Forest Service while living in a yurt with 100 hippies, New Age travelers and nudists on 200 acres of farmland near Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, with his four children, including Rory.

And although he and His children slept restlessly on sheepskins in his yurt, he had made sure The children attend the local school every day, even in traditional uniform.

The ward council sent a school bus up the dirt road to the ward to pick them up.

He then said: “I now have a family and a home. I can't run away for weeks. But my views on the environment are the same.

“There is a part of me that misses this life. Spending a week with a crane in protest against the construction of Terminal 5 at Heathrow was special, but I'll leave it to others for now. & # 39;

But last year he campaigned again – a fine for blocking one of the UK's largest oil refineries in a protest against the Extinction Rebellion by pinning himself to a concrete block at the entrance to the huge Valero plant in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Hooper has been fined £ 40 after pleading guilty to Haverfordwest District Court in October 2019.

Swampy and Son and the other activists who have now vowed to stay in the trees.

This is despite mounting pressure from the National Eviction Team (NET), dwindling supplies and the ongoing storm that has ravaged England for the past five days.

Swampy first took part in the 1996 protests against the A34 Newbury bypass

Swampy first took part in the 1996 protests against the A34 Newbury bypass

The group that cast Jones & # 39; Hill Wood has stated that part of their intent is to highlight the habitat loss and irreversible damage that HS2 is doing across the board.

Lawyers for Nature posted the following statement on Facebook yesterday: “The scenes of devastation as HS2 begins cutting forests along the route are heartbreaking.

“For the past 24 hours we've worked with independent ecologists who have recorded evidence of rare barbara bats at Jones Hill Woods near Wendover.

Further investigation suggests that HS2 does not have a license from Natural England to disturb bats on the site or to damage or destroy their roosts.

At first glance, therefore, it would appear that further work and / or felling in Jones Hill is illegal.

& # 39; We have helped draft letters to Natural England and HS2 informing them of the legal situation and demanding that work on the site cease pending further research into the existence of bats and bat roosts in the forest.

& # 39; We hope that HS2 will respect and obey the law and, if not, Natural England will enforce it.

Hooper was first involved in environmental protection when he participated in protests against the A34 Newbury bypass in 1996. He is pictured in one of his tunnels in 1997

Hooper was first involved in environmental protection when he took part in protests against the A34 Newbury bypass in 1996. He is pictured in one of his tunnels in 1997

"If not, however, we must apply public pressure to prevent wildlife crimes from being committed through the destruction of this forest."

Despite threats of violence and arrests, the remaining activists defending the trees in the threatened land are determined to remain and accept all the consequences of their actions.

Mark Keir, who streamed live from the website, added, “We all feel very good and very strong.

“We have a lot of people here, both in the tree and on the ground, who have as much energy and skill for this cause as Swampy.

“Ultimately, we just have to stop this thing or slow it down enough that people can really hear what it's about.

& # 39; We know HS2 doesn't have any of the licenses they need to work here.

“It is such a piece of land with biodiversity, it is so beautiful here.

“They don't have the bat license they need, or the dormouse license, or anything. We hope we can try to stop this for these reasons.

“We had people who were removed from the tree and put in a cell – and then returned right here after they were released. We'll stay here as long as it takes. & # 39;

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