Sunday, 19 November 2017

Pubs ‘too upmarket for visitors’

PUBS in the Chilterns are failing to cater for walkers, riders and cyclists, says a conservation campaigner.

PUBS in the Chilterns are failing to cater for walkers, riders and cyclists, says a conservation campaigner.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, which is based in Henley, said the area should offer a warm welcome to visitors.

“The Chilterns is a paradise for walkers, riders and bikers and it’s a shame that more of the pubs don’t cater for their needs,” she said.

“Too many have gone upmarket with gourmet menus. Ideally, they should serve a simple sandwich for a lunchtime snack for those on a walk.

“Car parking is a problem too. The Chilterns are close to conurbations and people come for day trips but, with the paucity of public transport, they come by car and then clutter up the villages.

“We need carefully landscaped car parks and then to encourage people to use them.Walking, riding and cycling are good for the local economy — there are plenty of studies which show the income and jobs that are generated by these activities.”

Ms Ashbrook, who lives in Turville, said there were problems with access to land.

She said: “We are blessed in the Chilterns with a dense network of public paths, most of which are in good order.

“But there are problems. People have been allowed to build big new houses and to extend existing ones, sometimes close to public paths, and the planning authorities are not as tough as we would wish.”

Ms Ashbrook was speaking at the Chilterns Access Conference organised by the Chilterns Conservation Board and held at Hastoe, near Tring.

The Open Spaces Society campaigns to protect common land, village greens, open spaces and public paths.

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