Whilst mowing the lawn one day in 2019, Donald Macdonald came up with a slogan inspired by the Campaign for Real Ales and his own desire to be able to explore the UK in his motorhome the way he could in France using Aires. A dream was born… or rather the Campaign for Real Aires was created.
Starting as a small Facebook group only intended for Scotland where he lives, it quickly gathered a couple of hundred members and then did nothing. That is, until during Lockdown, Roy Goring decided to share it across a selection of other Motorhoming groups in July 2020. It went viral… if that’s the correct expression to use during Lockdown! Quickly membership soared until three months later they have over 13,000 members across the UK and counting.
So, what galvanised CAMpRA? Was it a plan? No, it was the idea of NOT having a plan. To be able to hit the road, follow the sunshine, stop on a whim and stay the night at an unexpected destination are the things that motivate members.
The Campaign for Real Aires works to support and encourage Motorhomers to lift that most powerful of weapons in the fight for Aires – the pen. Writing to newspapers, MPs, MSPs, Council Leaders and Officers – and identifying partners who can benefit from having visitors being able to park in their Motorhomes and stay overnight.
Only when we have a network of Aire-style facilities across the UK will people be able to staycation safe in the knowledge they have somewhere safe and hospitable to park-up. Once this is achieved, we can raise a glass in celebration – maybe not a real ale… but certainly to a Real Aire.
We are a volunteer organisation led by a Leadership Group, some members of which are shown below. If you would like to contact us please use our contact form. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
In May 2021 we decided to formalise our organisation and created CAMpRA UK Ltd, a Private company limited by guarantee without share capital registered in England and Wales under registration 13405866. Our registered office is 14 Kelly Road, Waterlooville, England, PO7 5UL.
I was a caravan owner for over 40 years and we moved to a motorcaravan 4 years ago as we wanted to tour in our retirement and to leave at a moments notice, returning home when we wanted after 40 years of pre booking sites months ahead, sitting on a campsite in the pouring rain as we had paid for the site only to return home to the sun. I am sure you have all been there.
My experience relevant to this campaign comes from my work as a service manager and contract manager which involved writing reports, interpreting data and reading and writing contracts.
I was also involved in the formation of the Amateur Radio Caravan and Camping club which involved writing a constitution and administering the club exemption certificate.
More recently starting a junior bowls club, a junior league and managing our county under 18 team who have recached the National finals both years since it was launched.
We also have 3 juniors who have had trials for the England National Team.
Having toured France and Spain on a 12 week 4500 mile trip to see if we could survive in a 6m van conversion we realised the freedom to tour was for us.
So what about the UK. Well we nervously set off in October 2019 to do the NC500 nothing booked except a site near inverness for one night.
No problem parking but campsites closed and it took a lot of planning to find waste emptying points, Although we spent a month we missed some spots as we needed to travel to a waste point. Then in July we found CAMpRA not a person to sit back and watch I quickly became involved in this very important campaign, lots of ideas lots of emails and I was asked to join the leadership team. What an experience it has been !!
I live near the coast of Northumberland.
Retired Snr Fisheries Enforcement Officer for The Environment Agency.
Worked on 2001 Foot & Mouth outbreak, headed auditing team for MAFF/DEFRA.
Hobbies: Dogs, guitar/singing, I took up art (painting) in my seventies.
Have built/converted 2 campervans.
Partnered with Rosie, 2 daughters, 2 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren.
I work on the North East Team of CAMpRA
Having had VW vans for many years, in 2007, when my husband retired the first time, we decided to buy our first proper campervan. This was quickly upgraded (not big enough!) and then 18 months later (still not big enough!) to the van we’ve had for the last 11 years. Realising that work was getting in the way of enjoying ourselves, my husband retired again. We both then became self employed, enabling us to travel more, whilst still keeping ourselves occupied whilst not on the road.
We’ve been all over Europe and had several extended holidays there, with many shorter holidays in the UK – usually spending around 130 nights per year away in the van, summer and winter.
Full retirement beckons in a couple of years, at which point we’ll be off on much longer adventures.
I was a manufacturing systems specialist for most of my career and more recently the Head of Development for a Bristol Company specialising in data warehousing. My passion is club motorsport and I started the C1 Racing Club in 2017 with a friend. It now has just over a thousand members and more than 250 Citroen C1 cars have been adapted to race in endurance circuit races.
From the motor racing came a longing to see a lot more of the UK and Europe and in 2018 we bought our motorhome. Only to discover that, unlike France and Germany, there are limited places in the UK for motorhomers to just stop for the night and experience a bit of village/town life. I hope to help change that by supporting the Campaign for Real Aires UK - CAMpRA.