Rambling rights for walkers in England

An historic right of access to roam in certain countryside areas has been rolled out across England.

The introduction of the new right, for which people have been campaigning for over 100 years, allows people to walk freely across mapped access land without the need to stick to designated paths.

From today, Monday October 31, people will have the chance to enjoy about 935,000 hectares, around 6,250 square miles of mapped areas of mountain, moor, heath, down and registered common land: much of which was previously off-limits. This is about 7.0% of the total land in England.

Countryside Agency Deputy Chair and Chair of the National Countryside Access Forum, Pam Warhurst, said: “This is an historic day. People can have fun exploring more of England’s beautiful and varied landscapes. Of course with this new right comes new responsibilities, so it’s important to follow the Countryside Code.

“The Countryside Agency, and the Countryside Commission before it, has worked to increase opportunities for public enjoyment of the countryside for over 50 years and this new right of access is a major landmark in working towards this. By giving every member of the public more opportunities to get out and enjoy the countryside we can in time build a healthier, more environmentally aware society.”

The final mapping regions to open in England are completing the roll out of the new right and new editions of Ordnance Survey Explorer maps show all known access land.

The Ordnance Survey aims to publish new maps covering the whole of England and Wales by April next year.

For further information on the new access rights, maps of access land or to download the Countryside Code, visit the website www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk.


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