WHY IS SO MUCH OF THE COUNTRYSIDE OUT OF BOUNDS? BACK OUR CAMPAIGN

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The Independent Online
THE Independent on Sunday today launches a campaign to open up for public use hundreds of thousands of acres of land under military control.

The Ministry of Defence bars access to some of Britain's wildest and most unspoilt countryside. But campaigners for greater access say the military's appropriation of much of this land is often unjustified. Vast swaths of MoD territory in fact remain unused for much of the year. Nearly 590,000 acres of countryside are closed to civilians, much part of some of the most beautiful landscapes in Britain. The MoD owns or is licensed to use land in nine of the 11 national parks in England and Wales.

Our campaign is backed by the Ramblers Association, which has led the successful lobby for the introduction of a right-to-roam across non-military land. The Independent on Sunday accepts that the armed forces need to train, and that a balance must be struck between greater access and safety, but we believe that, at present, the emphasis is heavily and unnecessarily loaded against the public.

REPORTS, PAGE 3

LEADING ARTICLE, PAGE 26

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