Bangs having just found a Neolithic axe head on the Brighton Downs, January 2021.
|Occupation||Field naturalist, conservationist and author|
|Tolpuddle Martyrs Mural|
Edward Square, Copenhagen Street, London Borough of Islington
|Subject||Depicting the 1834 march to Westminster to petition for the pardon of the six Dorset farm labourers who were 'guilty' of, effectively, joining a trade union.|
David Bangs is a field naturalist, social historian, public artist, author and conservationist. He has written extensively on the countryside management, both historically and present day in the English county of Sussex.
Bangs worked as a public mural painter in central London from 1980 to 1990.
Bangs has campaigned on a number of fronts to protect access rights to Sussex Downland. He is the co-founder of Keep Our Downs Public. In 2016 councils across Sussex threatened to privatise large areas of the Downs, including Brighton Council's Downland Estate, Worthing Council's Downland Estate, and Eastbourne Council's Downland Estate. Bangs was in the leadership teams of successful campaigns to prevent their sale from public ownership to private ownership.
Bangs was co-leader of the Sussex Access Campaign and its programme of mass trespasses that helped build pressure for the enactment of a partial right to roam in the CROW Act (Countryside and Rights of Way Act, 2000).
Bangs has appeared on Radio 4's Today Programme, Farming Today and Pebble Mill at One and he has also appeared on the BBC1 programme Countryfile.
Bangs has written three books, Whitehawk Hill: Where the Turf meets the Surf, a landscape history and natural history of Brighton’s most remarkable Downland survival (2004), A Freedom to Roam Guide to the Brighton Downs: from Shoreham to Newhaven and Beeding to Lewes (2008) and The Land of the Brighton Line: A Field Guide to the Middle Sussex and Southeast Surrey Weald (2018).
His first two works concern themselves with fauna, flora and land ownership of the Sussex Downland around the city of Brighton, England, and the threats posed to them by farms, housing developments and other socioeconomic forces. His latest work, The Land of the Brighton Line, is about the Sussex Weald. The work is of importance as reviewer Ted Benton notes as it "expresses a deeply engaged and embodied presence in the environment" from "someone who over many years has walked the footpaths, occasionally trespassed, counted the wildflowers and listened to the birds". Benton continues "Bangs seems able to recount and explain the losses while continuing to take delight in what remains. The threats, in general terms, are those affecting historic landscapes everywhere – public access and enjoyment, biodiversity and aesthetics harmed or destroyed by advancing urbanisation and agribusiness-driven intensification"
He has a website for his third book, Land of the Brighton Line, and has co-produced a video describing the ownership and ecological status of the Brighton Downs, Brightons Big Secret: The Downland We Own.
He hosted the BBC2 programme This Land: Coppers and Bangs, which was recommended in The Times "Today's Viewing Choice" and The Independent's "Pick of the Day". The Independent's review described Bangs as, "A committed advocate of the right to roam" and said, "Bangs has made it his mission to compile a companion to the wildlife of the Sussex Downs, which he feels is endangered by modern developments".
Bangs created many public murals in central London from 1980 to 1990, including contributions to the Brixton murals and a mural commemorating the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Photos of his murals, painted between 1977 and 1990, are on display on the For Walls With Tongues project. His murals often took inspiration from nature.
Bangs is an eco-socialist. He recognises capitalism as a system that is destroying nature and the necessary habitats for nature's ongoing survival.
Bangs feels a strong attachment to the county of Sussex and his family moved back to Hove in 1958, when he was seven. From nine or ten years old his main preoccupation has been with the countryside. He went to Reading University and then to St Martin's College of Art, where he says he was "untrained" at being an artist. He was one of the 'Huntley Street 14' with Piers Corbyn who got charged with conspiracy after the eviction of a big squat in 1978. The charges were dropped. He returned to Brighton after 25 years away, largely living in Kings Cross, London. He has been a public artist (mostly painting murals), a care worker, and a gardener.
- "Dave Bangs – For Walls With Tongues". Retrieved 2021-04-09.
- Bangs, D.. (2011). Public forests - The wildlife NGOs: Broken-backed but dangerous. Ecos 32. 23-26.
- Brighton & Hove City Council, POLICY, RESOURCES & GROWTH COMMITTEE, Agenda Item 76(c), 8 December 2016
- "Brighton Downland reprieved". Brighton & Hove Friends of the Earth. 2016-12-09. Retrieved 2021-04-14.
- "Environmental vandalism? Campaigners regroup to stop the Great Downland Sell-Off". theecologist.org. Retrieved 2021-04-14.
- "Campaigners hold public meeting against South Downs sell off". www.eastbourneherald.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-04-14.
- Gosling, Tony (2016-11-17). "Concerns raised over Brighton and Hove City Council's biggest sell-off of downland in 20 years". The Land Is Ours. Retrieved 2021-03-31.
- "Concerns raised over council's biggest sell-off of downland in 20 years". The Argus. Retrieved 2021-03-31.
- srraadmin (2016-11-09). "Concerns over Council's sale of downland". Southdown Rise Residents Association. Retrieved 2021-03-31.
- "Campaigners hold public meeting against South Downs sell off". www.eastbourneherald.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-03-31.
- "Green and Tory alliance thwarts downland sale by Brighton and Hove council". Brighton and Hove News. 2017-01-20. Retrieved 2021-03-31.
- "Fight for Downs rambling rights". The Argus. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
- "Right To Roam Bill - Friday 26 March 1999 - Hansard - UK Parliament". hansard.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
- "Winning the right to roam - Ramblers". www.ramblers.org.uk. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
- "Affordable housing is our goal". The Argus. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
- "Housing campaigners crank up heat on the government". Socialist Worker (Britain). Retrieved 2021-04-02.
- Bangs, David (2004). Whitehawk Hill: Where the Turf meets the Surf, a landscape history and natural history of Brighton's most remarkable Downland survival. David Bangs. ISBN 0954863801. Search this book on
- British wildlife : the magazine for the modern naturalist., 2014, Vol.25(3), p.228
- Bangs, Dave (2008). A freedom to roam Guide to the Brighton Downs : from Shoreham to Newhaven and Beeding to Lewes. Brighton: David Bangs. ISBN 978-0-9548638-1-4. OCLC 701098669. Search this book on
- "Reviews: Secret places: A Freedom to Roam Guide to the Brighton Downs" (PDF). [[Open Space (magazine)|]]. 29 (3): 16. Autumn 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
- Bangs, David (2018). THE LAND OF THE BRIGHTON LINE: A Field Guide to the Middle Sussex and Southeast Surrey Weald. Farlington, Portsmouth: Bishops Printers. ISBN 9780954863821. Search this book on
- Mead G. (2012) ‘Scattered Squalor’ and ‘Downland Homes’. Interwar housing at Patcham, Brighton (Doctoral dissertation, University of Sussex).
- "Tools to Heal the Weald". www.resurgence.org. Retrieved 2021-03-31.
- "The Land of the Brighton Line: A Field Guide to the Middle Sussex and South East Surrey Weald". www.nhbs.com. Retrieved 2021-03-31.
- Shoard, Marion (2019). "Book Review: The Land of the Brighton Line – ECOS – Challenging Conservation". ECOS. British Association of Nature Conservationists. 40 (3). Retrieved 9 May 2021.
- "Our countryside: use it or lose it". Morning Star. 2020-01-06. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
- "Book review – The Land of the Brighton Line | Action in rural Sussex". www.ruralsussex.org.uk. 2021-04-13. Retrieved 2021-04-16.
- Ted Benton (2020) Nature and People in the Weald of England, Capitalism Nature Socialism, 31:3, 141-143, DOI: 10.1080/10455752.2020.1778243
- "Today's viewing choice. BBC2 This Land". The Times (London, England). May 8, 2000. p. 88.
- James, Rampton (May 8, 2000). "PICK OF THE DAY: THIS LAND 7.30PM BBC2". The Independent (London). p. 15.
- Griffiths, C., 2018. From ‘Dorchester Labourers’ to ‘Tolpuddle Martyrs’: Celebrating Radicalism in the English Countryside. In Secular Martyrdom in Britain and Ireland (pp. 59-84). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
- "Episode 7 - If you want to get out of your head get out of your house". monumentpodcast.com. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
- mudlark121 (2018-08-16). "Today in London squatting history, 1978: mass eviction in Huntley Street, Bloomsbury". past tense. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
- Kearns, K.C., 1979. Intraurban squatting in London. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 69(4), pp.589-598.
- The Land of the Brighton Line website
- A personal interview with David Parker in his monument podcasts.
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