Swampy on tunnels, bailiffs and 25 years of protest: ‘We need to stop capitalists destroying the planet’ | Protest | The Guardian
Dan works in forestry. Clare is a school counsellor. Recently, they took their youngest son to a superhero film. Their middle son loves football. They miss their eldest, Rory, who left home a few months ago.
The Hoopers are much like any other family with three children, or they would be if Dan did not have an unusual superpower. He is the best DIY digger of tunnels in the country. And for a quarter of a century he has burrowed passageways into the paths of new roads, runways and railways that destroy the countryside and add to spiralling carbon emissions and global heating. In this strange underland, Dan has another name: Swampy.
The story of Swampy, “the human mole”, was a tabloid fable in the 1990s. Margaret Thatcher’s “Roads for Prosperity” – supposedly the biggest road-building scheme since the Romans – was attracting growing opposition. Protests culminated outside Newbury, Berkshire, in 1996 when thousands marched against a bypass.