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Ramblers forced into trespassing as legal routes cut off | UK | News

Ramblers forced into trespassing as legal routes cut off | UK | News

extreme hd iptv
extreme hd iptv

by extreme hd iptv

Walkers are being forced to trespass to access thousands of landscapes after their right to roam has been barred by private property, campaigners claim.

Eight percent of land in England is designated as “open country” but researchers have found that over 6,600 acres are surrounded by private land with no right of way. These “access islands” can then only be reached by trespassing through the private land.

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 applies to parcels of mountains, moorland, heathland, downland and commons, with a legal right to roam.

But “right to roam” campaigners from Natural England have found that hundreds of areas of open country are not connected to footpaths or close to roads. They are now calling for new laws to create a right of responsible access.

Lewis Winks, who carried out the research, said it was “ridiculous” that people often had to trespass to reach areas where they had a legal right to roam.

“The absurdity of access islands is a clear example of why our current system of access rights in England is broken. Often people don’t know where they have a right to go in the countryside,” he told the BBC.

Mr Winks added that there should be a statutory right of access created, as “permission can simply be withdrawn by the landowner – it’s just not the same as a right of access.

“Some landowners permit paths – others go out of their way to obstruct the public from getting to these access islands. Fixing this goes well beyond putting in a few permissive paths.”

However, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), which represents rural landowners, has said that there is enough accessible open country and that no walker should have to break the law.

Victoria Vyvyan, the CLA’s president, said: “Nobody is forced to trespass. It is a choice and millions of acres of land are publicly accessible without the need to do so.”

She added that the government needed to help private landowners to install and maintain necessary infrastructure for public access, such as gates, stiles and paths.

The government has said that starting this summer, environmental land management scheme funds could be used by landowners to develop routes to create access to inaccessible open country.

A Defra spokesman said the government was committed to “increasing access to nature” and added that its Environmental Improvement Plan had set a target for every household to be within a 15-minute walk of a green space or water.

“Whilst rights of way are a matter for local authorities, we are aware of areas of open access land to which there is no legal route of access, and we are considering how to address this as we map open access land.”

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