Walkers step up effort to breach barriers: Obstructive landowners targeted as the Rambler's Association announces a plan of action to reopen ancient rights of way
Wednesday 19 August 1992
Offenders include the Government, which has planned motorways without allowing any means, such as bridges or underpasses, for people to follow important old paths that have been obstructed by traffic.
Members of the association are planning to walk on many of these disputed paths on Sunday 27 September, which they call 'Forbidden Britain Day'. On certain ancient routes that should be open to vehicles they will be joined by people driving Land-Rovers and riding mountain bikes.
David Beskine, an officer of the association, said: 'Landowners' leaders praise the path network, but thousands of farmers and landowners regularly plough up, plant over or otherwise obstruct public footpaths. The Ramblers' Association is brimming over with dedicated footpath fighters who are determined to get all public footpaths reopened.
'We know that right is on our side. Parliament backs us, the law backs us. The courts and the public back us.'
In Cornwall, for example, the ramblers are drawing attention to paths which they say have been obstructed by two farmers at Colquite and Dupath, near Liskeard. Near Whitehaven, in Cumbria, a farmer has built a wall across a footpath and in another place a footbridge has been swept away and the land is now being claimed as private. Near Harwich, in Essex, a householder has obstructed a path by extending his garden into it.
All county councils have a legal duty to compile definitive maps which are an official register of public footpaths and bridleways. But all county councils do not put an adequate effort into this work, the association says. A large area of Kent near Tunbridge Wells has virtually no public access due to the failure of the county council to register ancient rights of way. Legal rights of way are missing from the definitive map of Hertfordshire in the area of Broxbourne, and from the Suffolk map near Stowmarket and Waveney.
Ramblers are also claiming a right to roam beyond footpaths where the land is uncultivated. In Scandinavia, the public has a legal right to walk in such areas. With this in mind, ramblers are walking on Big Moor in the Peak National Park, an uncultivated area of high moorland, where owners are wanting to keep the land private. They are also seeking a right to roam in Coombs Valley, Derbyshire, and the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire.
'We will not allow the law-breakers, the negligent local authorities, or anybody else to get away with robbing the public of the delights of a country walk,' Mr Beskine said. 'This is our common heritage, treasured by local people throughout Britain, and now being fought for by those very same people with the full backing of the Ramblers' Association.'
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 3 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
- 4 Halle Berry takes ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry to court for allegedly trying to make daughter look less African-American
- 5 Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ferguson decision: Tea Party website mocks Michael Brown's family over T-shirt typo
Michael Brown shooting: Ten things we know – or know better – now the Ferguson grand jury's work is over
Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Derren Brown on the disappointment of coming out: 'It’s not that people react badly to it – they really don't care'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...
£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...