Letter: Right to roam

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Anyone interested in wildlife should view the Government's commitment to legislation on "right to roam" with great alarm. Because of intensive agricultural practices over the past 20 years the numbers of many once common birds such as lapwing and snipe have decreased so much that in some English counties they face extinction as breeding birds.

Lowland heaths and upland moors often remain their only breeding areas. The network of existing public footpaths allowed access to these places but also ensured that tracts of land on which these birds could breed where relatively free of disturbance.

No one can condone obstructed footpaths, guilty landlords should be dealt with severely and there is a strong case for greatly extending the footpath network. However the right to roam seriously threatens many of our once commoner breeding birds, which are often the reason why people are out walking.

HUGH BRADSHAW

London EC4

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