Swampy (environmentalist)

Daniel Marc Hooper (born 1973), better known as Swampy, is an environmental activist from the United Kingdom. He was active in a variety of environmental protests including that in Fairmile, Devon, against the expansion of the A30 road in 1996.


Daniel Marc Hooper was born in Luton, (Bedfordshire).[1] He became a nationally known figure in 1996 after spending a week in a complex series of tunnels dug in the path of a new extension to the A30 road in Fairmile, Devon, resisting attempts at eviction by police. Peter Faulding was called in as a confined space rescue specialist to safely remove Swampy and a number of other protesters locked on deep inside the network of manmade tunnels. Several people took part in the protest, but Swampy was the last one evicted. The magistrate passing sentence on him was David Cameron's mother.[2] Swampy was originally from Newbury, Berkshire, the site of the protest over the Newbury bypass, and he then lived with his parents in Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire.[3]

Hooper's subsequent fame included an appearance on the BBC comedy current affairs quiz Have I Got News for You, on 18 April 1997, when he briefly became the show's youngest ever panelist. In 1997, he took part in another tunnel protest intended to prevent the building of a second runway at Manchester Airport,[4] and has also been involved with the Trident nuclear submarine protest camp at Faslane, Scotland.

In 2006, Hooper was living with his girlfriend and their three children in a yurt, a dome-shaped tent in Tipi Valley,[5] a remote New Age commune at Cwmdu near Llandeilo in West Wales. In 2007 the Sunday Mirror newspaper reported that he was taking part in the climate change protests at Heathrow Airport.[6] Hooper's presence on the protesters' site was dependent on his keeping a low profile, so his celebrity status would not detract from the protest.[7] As of 2013, he was still living in a commune in Wales with his family, working for the Forestry Commission and running marathons and half marathons.[8]

In September 2019 Hooper took part in an Extinction Rebellion protest, attaching himself to a concrete block at the entrance to the Valero Energy fuel refinery in Pembrokeshire.[9][10] He was arrested at Jones Hill Wood in Buckinghamshire in October 2020, having occupied a treehouse to prevent trees being chopped down since they are on the route of High Speed 2.[11]


Hooper was parodied in a Judge Dredd comic featuring "Spawny" who impeded the construction of a "Spaceport" in the same manner as the real-life eco-warrior. The story ends with the construction continuing unimpeded, with Spawny apparently being sealed alive under the concrete foundation, a reference to a public comment by Conservative minister John Watts that he would like Swampy to be "buried in concrete".[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  2. ^ Brian Wheeler (11 May 2010). "David Cameron: Life and times of new UK prime minister". BBC Election 2010 news. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  3. ^ Road Protesters Plan next course of action, The Independent 1997. Retrieved 13 April 2015
  4. ^ War in the woods: a history of runway BBC Manchester
  5. ^ Diggers and Dreamers - The Guide to Comunal Living in Britain
  6. ^ Grant Hodgson (19 August 2007). "Swampy Joins Airport Camp". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
  7. ^ The return of Swampy: Underground eco-hero joins the Heathrow protest The Independent, 19 August 2007
  8. ^ "Swampy retires from protests to get a job picking acorns". The Telegraph. 2013. Retrieved 2015-04-13.
  9. ^ Staff; agencies (9 October 2019). "Eco-warrior Swampy on Extinction Rebellion: 'It gives me hope'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-10-13 – via www.theguardian.com.
  10. ^ Staff, Guardian (9 October 2019). "Swampy's back – but don't expect him to be the face of Extinction Rebellion". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-10-13 – via www.theguardian.com.
  11. ^ "HS2: Eco activist Swampy charged after tree protest". BBC News. 9 October 2020. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  12. ^ "Daniel 'Swampy' Hooper biography". cbrd.co.uk.

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