Britain’s farmers are facing an ‘unending tide’ of ramblers, hell-bent on cluttering up the countryside. That’s why many land-owners are calling on the government to sanction a cull, or at least introduce some natural predators.
Fields across Britain are now dotted with Gore-Tex and farmers have to remain vigilant, ready to ignore the next chirpy ‘hello’. “You never know when a rambler is going to creep up behind you, and ask the name of all your bloody cows”, complained Derek Winterbottom, from his farm near Ludlow. “The sods are always gazing at some tree or other and saying ‘it must be lovely living round here’. Well it was, until you buggers showed up.”
Winterbottom claims a group of hungry ramblers can devour a pig in a matter of minutes, given the right pastry to wrap up the wobbly bits. But rather than ‘just eat what they need and then fuck off back to Swindon’, some become overwhelmed by a primeval wanderlust.
“When that kicks in, the buggers go absolutely mental”, explained Winterbottom. “They start talking about holiday cottages, or becoming a crofter. There’s bits of the countryside where they’ve already got a foot-hold; I’m beginning to regret ever selling them my shit old barn to convert.”
Pro-rambling campaigners are opposed to a cull, claiming that shooting a few would just allow others to move in. Sid Horwood is a rambler who claims to be ‘part of the scenery’, and thinks the problem lies more with the farmers, than with those who enjoy trampling through filth for a hobby.
“With the right medication and some slightly taller hedges, farmers and ramblers could one day live side-by-side”, claimed Horwood. “All we ask are some footpaths and a nice boutique hotel to stay in. Not some green-triangled flea-pit: that’s just openly hostel.”