Madeley Meets the Squatters

Madeley Meets the Squatters


“I think of us as urban Wombles. We look for things that aren’t being used and make use of them — how can you argue the immorality of that?” asks Tristan. He is one of many squatters challenging Richard Madeley’s prejudices in this documentary.

Nearly all put a good case forward for using empty property, whether it’s a commercial property left vacant for years or the site of Heathrow’s third runway that’s been turned into a thriving environmental project. Madeley also experiences the squalid reality of squatting when he visits a derelict east London pub and goes “skipping” to scavenge for free food.


The media often portrays squatters as freeloaders who contribute little to society. In this documentary, Richard Madeley goes beyond the headlines to find out the truth. He meets exasperated landlords whose properties are being occupied without permission and learns that some squatters are experts at exploiting the law, but also discovers others who are openly embraced and welcomed by their communities.