Azara Blog: Right to Roam extended to Wales and northern England

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Date published: 2005/05/28

The BBC says:

Hundreds of ramblers took advantage of the "right to roam" as large areas of northern England were opened up.

Walkers got "open access" to more than 500,000 hectares after a ceremony at Ribblehead in the Yorkshire Dales.

The weekend also marks the beginning of the right of access in Wales as part of the roll-out of access areas.

But landowners have warned the "right to roam" could falsely lead people to believe they could "drive in to the countryside and then just set out".

Douglas Chalmers from the Country, Land and Business Association said: "What does worry us is that people think this right to roam phrase has been used in the media, that they think they can just get in their cars, drive in to the countryside and then just set out".

The opening of land has also prompted fears among some landowners that farmland will be damaged and privacy infringed.

The "right to roam," granted by the Countryside Act, allows walkers, runners and climbers to roam the access areas. Vehicles are not allowed.

It also excludes access to cultivated farmland and gardens, and roamers must obey local restrictions.

Out and out theft by the State from the landowners on behalf of the chattering classes, most of whom are members of the urban elite. Obviously most ramblers behave themselves, but a minority do not, and the landowners will be expected to pay for the damage they cause.

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