Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £19.99

Buy Now for £19.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Bloomsbury presents The Book of Trespass by Nick Hayes, read by Nick Hayes.

The vast majority of our country is entirely unknown to us because we are banned from setting foot on it. By law of trespass, we are excluded from 92 per cent of the land and 97 per cent of its waterways, blocked by walls whose legitimacy is rarely questioned. But behind them lies a story of enclosure, exploitation and dispossession of public rights whose effects last to this day.

The Book of Trespass takes us on a journey over the walls of England, into the thousands of square miles of rivers, woodland, lakes and meadows that are blocked from public access. By trespassing the land of the media magnates, lords, politicians and private corporations that own England, Nick Hayes argues that the root of social inequality is the uneven distribution of land.

Weaving together the stories of poachers, vagabonds, gypsies, witches, hippies, ravers, ramblers, migrants and protesters, and charting acts of civil disobedience that challenge orthodox power at its heart, The Book of Trespass will transform the way you see the land.

©2020 Nick Hayes (P)2020 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic reviews

"What a brilliant, passionate and political book this is.... It tells - through story, exploration, evocation - the history of trespass (and therefore of freedom) in England and beyond, while also making a powerful case for future change. It is bold and brave, as well as beautiful; Hayes' voice is warm, funny, smart and inspiring. The Book of Trespass will make you see landscapes differently." (Robert Macfarlane)

What listeners say about The Book of Trespass

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    143
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    105
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    122
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

80% political commentary

I wanted to love this book but felt judged through most of it for disagreeing with the author’s view. Intellectually, it was expanding but there was a ‘them and us’ bias central to the theme, which felt one-sided. I was - naively - hoping for a more light-hearted account of a curious soul testing the waters of the UK’s ancient trespass rules. Historically, the content was interesting but erred towards countryside anarchist as opposed to how, as a lover of the right to roam principle - one could navigate such constraints. Seems we all must hop over a wall/fence and take our chances...too much political / Class commentary on the issue, which tainted my support and overall enjoyment of the book

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book terrible audio

Heartily recommend reading this book but I'm astonished that a publisher like Bloomsbury would allow an audiobook to go out with so many mispronounced words, frequent rustling of paper and dramatic changes in volume. It feels like this audiobook has not been edited and just left to the author to record and upload without anyone checking it. Frustrating and distracting!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

not what I expected! an epic roll trhough

wow this book wasn't really what I expected I thought it would be all about hopping fences and seeing England in a way noone else has. In some respects it is but it's also alot more than that, it's a systematic deconstruction of why we have to trespass in the first place! the humour was also right up my alley. saying this it did feel a bit rushed, like alot of ideas shoe horned into one book I feel like it could have been longer by exploring more of the country aspect of each trespass. would recommend this book but definitely one for at home with a cuppa not doing much else as there's alot to take in!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Anarchist’s Camp-book?!

What a wonderful and important book that tells the true story behind hiking and wild camping. The historical narrative of trespass being a deliberate and implicit act of working class rebellion should be taught in schools. Plus the counter narrative that the real trespass is that of wealth of common freedoms was fascinating. The little that I knew made this a must read to fill in the gaps, however this was an encyclopaedia of knowledge. I’d especially never considered the countryside being predominantly white in both population and narrative was down to the imperial nature of land ownership and that there is a class and race struggle at the heart of that (it seems so obvious). I hope this book springs forth a thousand hikers, each with a little trespass in their heart! Thank you Nick Hayes for taking us on your journey!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My favourite book of 2020

The scope of this book is astonishing. It deals with so many topics and connects them all so beautifully. It is well structured and passionately argued. You will learn about things you were never taught in school and hear a perspective that is rarely given a voice in the mainstream media. Every English person should read it, but I recommend it to everyone 11/10 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredibly insightful and well researched

Absolutely opened my eyes to a lot of things, both historical, political and regarding law. also confirmed other things I have read. Flows well and stirs anger and frustration as well as wonder and hope.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Essential reading for anyone British

It is really good. Like with Guy Shrubsole's book I spent the whole time wondering if growing up in the same area as the authors was why this subject felt so personal but its because unfair land ownership does alienate at a core level of identity.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Both entertaining and interesting. Must read.

I really loved it. Insightful summary of the parts of English history that I was never told abs should have been.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant read

Very enjoyable ramble through a mountain of facts . Well read and an eye opening to how the land has been stolen from the common man . Would highly recommend .

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating and important

This is beautifully written, full of facts, stories and important messages. I've learnt so much from this. I'm really glad to have listened to it and am now also going to buy a hard copy. Its the sort of book that I'll revisit.

2 people found this helpful