Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006
Fairmile protest camp, Devon.
Ruth building a trapeze from the oak at Fairmile. Photo: Jason Royce.
Fairmile protest camp, Devon.
Alice and jay winterproofing their bender at Trollheim. Photo: Jason Royce.

Road Wars

Fight For Fairmile

Jason Royce lived at the Fairmile road protest camp for two months. On his way back to defend the camp from eviction he dropped us some words and pictures.

Squall 14, Autumn 1996, pp. 52-53.

Fairmile protest camp, Devon.
Becky making herself busy whilst waiting for buckets to be filled. Photo: Jason Royce.

It’s been nearly two years since four people made their homes in some trees off the A30 in Devon. The trees are in the path of what is intended to be Britain’s first privately funded road.

This small camp quickly evolved into Fairmile: the first of three protest camps set up along the route. With treehouses, ‘twigloos’, aerial walkways, an extensive underground tunnel system and a moat encircling the entire camp, it was soon dubbed the university of road protesting.

Trolheim sprang up across the river in the carnage left by a demolition crew at the edge of a wood. Looking something like a scene from a fantasy novel, it is a wooden fort complete with drawbridges and lookout towers, all built from felled pines by full-time activists, visitors and local people. The third camp, Allercombe, is a few miles down the route.

The road - the A30 bypass - running from Exeter to Honiton, is part of a Euroroute planned to stretch from Folkestone to Penzance. It is being funded through Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO), a scheme whereby a private company finances and builds a road and is subsequently paid a shadow toll in following years, whilst the taxpayer foots the bill for the road’s maintenance. Bail conditions prevent many Fairmile protestors from returning to the site, so help is needed to continue the battle against the bypass. Get down there!

Contact the A30 Action! office on: 01404 815 729

Fairmile protest camp, Devon.
Busker Paul and a weekend visitor show signs of trench fever at Fairmile. Photo: Jason Royce.

Related Articles
For a menu of many other Squall articles about the Anti-Roads Movement, including protest camps, Reclaim The Streets and more click here