Friday, 22 October 2021

Bill boosts access to countryside

CONSERVATIONISTS have welcomed the Government’s support for public access to the countryside in the new Agriculture Bill.

The Bill confers on the Secretary of State for Environment the power to give financial support for public access to the countryside, farmland or woodland and better understanding of the environment.

The Open Spaces Society, which is based in Henley, the Ramblers and the British Horse Society had all lobbied for this.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the society, said: “We are delighted that the Environment Secretary has listened to the combined voice of bodies representing those who champion public access.

“Public paths and access land give people the opportunity to explore the outdoors, and are vital for our physical and mental health as well as benefiting local economies.

“Now we need to work on the detail of the Bill to ensure that the payments give the best possible results.

“We also want to see robust enforcement so that those receiving funds fulfil their legal duties on public paths and access land.”

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