16 JUNE 1955, Page 25

Country Life

BY IAN NIALL TRESPASS is very common in the country in summer. Very few cases come to court because the offence is not easily brought home to the culprits. It usually involves proving damage to crops. A gate lifted off' its hinges, a double track across a hayfield, damage to fences and hedges by picnickers, may sound paltry, and farmers and smallholders are often too busy to follow the matter up. In any case, it is often not one act of damage that enrages the owner of a field, but two or three in succession by a series of trespassers. Thus it comes about that people who take the liberty of entering a field and are careful not to damage anything find themselves' being driven out with little cour- tesy. The farmer gets a poor opinion of towns- folk and has no time to sort sheep from goats. The townsman puts his country cousin down as miserable, clog-in-the-manger. It all makes bad propaganda for both sides. A farmer re- marked to me the other day, 'I don't under- stand them at all. They come here and go mad, as if they'd never seen a field before. If I went 'to town and behaved as they do I'd be locked up.