Tuesday 30th 54-66F, rather cloudy but almost still. Walked across the prairie by the wide, bare, spray tracks and was told off by a gentleman in a smart 4WD. I couldn't get near enough for a proper conversation without wading through tall, wet crops. Which was probably for the best. Arguing in my pidgin Danish is not my strongest suit and I doubt I could convince him of anything.
He was the one who complained about me walking along the rough edges of the marsh. That was on 6+ meter wide, very rough grass, with 4WD tyre tracks. A strip which separates the crops from the wet and heavily overgrown marsh. The moles do far more damage to the grass than I could ever do. The 4WDs don't give a damn about going yards out into the crops. Where the rough track is far too cambered to make safe progress just to feed the ducks for gun fodder.
It would never cross my mind to do any damage [at all] to the crops or anything else. I keep to the bare soil made by their huge machines. The farmers think nothing of making a huge area of completely bare soil where they turn their vast machines on their valuable cops. They think nothing of reversing out into the crops if it suits their immediate purposes. This all helps me to walk the fields with a clear conscience. They obviously don't agree.
The Danes have no rights of way in the countryside like Britain's walkers. Clearly marked public footpaths are as rare as hen's teeth here. I can only think of one and that is 20 miles away! Many woods are free to walk in within certain rules of access and times. Reaching those same woods might be a very difficult if the former small fields have been turned into vast prairies with the loss of historical tracks and paths. Old footpaths often ran along the hedges which separated the much smaller fields of yesteryear.
As each small farmer retired or went broke, with nobody willing or able to afford to take over, then the land went to the big guys. The system was rigged that way by the offspring having to pay for the farm if they wanted to take over. With the poor economics of small farming it was a guarantee of increased holdings for the larger enterprises. The bigger they were, the bigger their machinery. Which soon led to rolling "prairies" and total hedge clearance on all four sides. The forests and copses only seem to be tolerated for their hunting income.
The social contract with farmers seems very one-sided. I may not walk on their wasted and hard compacted bare earth. But they can and have poisoned my drinking water and my air. They can bring the noise of their activities inside my home, around the clock, without invitation. The stench of pig shit can permeate my home for weeks on end and take my breath away in my own garden. But they would have me arrested if I peed in their farm yard.
They have an open license to leave the roads plastered in their mud. But if anyone should lose control and slide off the road, or into another vehicle, then it is the driver's fault. They do it all for profit and taxpayer's subsidies. We have to pay the taxes to provide their subsidies. They can put up huge barns and silos blocking the light to private homes.
Anyone who wants to build next to a farm needs full planning permission and the farmer can easily object. The farmer can raise vast heaps of hay bales near private homes and often do. Causing shade, an eyesore, noise and smell. While the people directly involved may not even venture onto the farmer's land.
I might see one or possibly two other, rural walkers, PER YEAR, on my daily travels. Often I see no other walkers for several years in a row. You never see kids wandering in the Danish countryside like my generation did back in the UK. We lived out of doors in our free time unless it was actually tipping down. Getting us back in for bedtime was hard enough. We walked, played and ran for miles most days and cycled in between. The very few, fat kids back then were force fed sticky sweets by their abusive parents. Distant shopping in the car. It was warm and sunny in the afternoon.