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Freedom to explore, knowledge to protect


#1

The Ramblers (formerly The Ramblers Association) are trying to persuade the Government to move Wales towards the Scottish System of freedom of access. See extract below:

We want the Government to be ambitious, and to learn from the great example and successful experiences of Scotland, where people have the right to access most land and water.

We want Wales’ communities to be connected by fantastic footpaths and for walkers to be able to wander off track and be free to explore all natural landscapes like forests and rivers, mountains and valleys.

Help us make Wales the best place in the world for walkers by signing our Wales for Walking pledge, and joining the conversation about what happens next.

Log on to http://www.ramblers.org.uk/walesforwalking and sign up for the Wales for Walking Pledge

73 Glyn


#2

Would this affect access for GW/MW-032?


#3

Doubtful Tom. There was a piece on this in last night’s Country File which might be worth a view on iPlayer. I can’t see that this will open up access to the extent that we enjoy in Scotland.


#4

I was thinking this too dad. I hope this new law comes into Wales as it would mean tge Powis Estate could only get us done for trespass if we caused any damage which on their land so we could activate Upper Park GW/MW-032 without permission.

Jimmy M0HGY


#5

Maybe. There are many castles/stately home/lodges in Scotland that have popular summits (Munros etc.) on them. Most estates co-exist with walkers. Some are really switched on to walkers such Atholl Estates, Invercauld (and many more) who welcome walkers, bikes etc. in exchange for them treating the countryside well. Then there is the Chesthill Estate and is renowned dislike of having to grant access to walkers. There is a long running dispute here. Just about every estate in Scotland copes with access to Munros during the Stag season apart from Chesthill. Draw your own conclusions.

So maybe it would resolve issues. I wouldn’t hold my breathe because land-owners can be complete ars^H^H^H swines about this making access unpleasant and disputes cost a fortune to bring to court which many councils will not contemplate.

Anyway there is the famous access letter in existence… you probably stand more chance of getting this made generally available than waiting for the law to change.

Of course, having the same access rights would be a good thing.


#6

I’ve always wandered freely in Wales and have never had any trouble. Possibly I have never wanted to go to places where the landowners wouldn’t have wanted me to go, perhaps two or three guys wandering is not considered a problem where a long gaggle of “ramblers” would cause consternation, possibly I have just been lucky, I don’t know. What I do know - or at least believe - is that a high key program of lobbying is by its nature likely to awake opposition and cause ill-feeling. If it succeeds, all well and good, but if it fails it is likely to leave us worse off.

Brian


#7

Right to walk over hills and moors :+1:

Sadly though, I think our society forgets that rights should be balanced with responsibilities (human rights or right to roam). 2 recent episodes of Country File have highlighted the growing problem of increasing littering of the fells (Lake District & areas such as Loch Lomond). The inconsiderate ones risk spoiling things for the rest :confused:


#8

As in all walks of life!

The first time I walked up Snowdon, a couple of years ago, I noticed a young lady with a carrier bag who was picking up litter as she went along.

A light bulb moment for me, and I now always take a spare bag for litter, and pick up anything that I see, as long as it isn’t too yucky…
Except on the most popular routes, it is encouragingly sparse, and some of what I do find must be accidental - I have certainly lost the odd water bottle from a pocket, or had something blow away too quickly to follow.

So, yes, a few can spoil it, but a few more can help put it right again :wink:

Adrian
G4AZS


#9

My climbing club (the Mercian Mountaineering Club) has an occasional clearing up session, taking bin bags up a summit and clearing rubbish - usually Moel Siabod. Surprisingly, considering the acreage to be covered, they usually only finish up with a few bags.

Brian


#10

+1 for this approach. I’ve had a handful of “get off my land” moments. But I always smile and say “certainly, which way do you want me to go?”. If you do this you are extremely unlikely to be followed up for prosecution. You really have to be flagrantly refusing to leave. In any case, if you don’t cause damage then it is a Civil and not Criminal matter. So they could in theory sue you for damages, but if you haven’ damaged anything then there is nothing to support this. At worst they could get a nominal damages sum, but the worst aspect might be legal costs.

I do not let it worry me, at all.


#11

Had a couple of “events” myself in GW without any repercussions. I have even been challenged when walking a path marked on the Ordnance Survey. However, on balance I’ve probably had more encouragement from land owners and several have shown an interest in the radio aspect. Having grey hair must help - we old fogies are a threat to no-one. :wink:


#12

A long time ago a friend of mine was forced by bad weather to drop down off the Nantlle Ridge towards the Nantlle pass, he finished up being marched off a farmers land at the point of a shotgun. For some reason that valley was a hotbed of anti-English feeling, I don’t know why or even if it is the same today, but it is one place to tread warily, I think! On the other hand I can remember being welcomed by a farmer and being roped in to help recapture an escaped bullock - not being used to large animals I was probably more nervous than the bullock but a bit of shouting and waving hands worked wonders! When our club had a hut on the approach track to the east ridge of Moel Siabod we even helped the nearby farmer repair fences. It boils down to attitude, I think. They soon suss out the arrogant ones.

Brian


#13

In which case he will have reported this to the police and they would have removed the farmer’s gun licence. You don’t get to point guns at people in the UK now and you didn’t get away with it 40+ years ago either.


#14

Well, he’s no longer around so I can’t ask him, but I imagine it would have been his word against the farmer’s with no witnesses or proof (“No, I was just carrying the gun to bag a few rabbits”) and probably after a rapid fire discussion in Welsh the police would have shown him the door.