Letter: Land rights

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The Independent Online
YOUR piece on the right to roam, "Forget the grouse. Let's go for a stroll" (Travel, 15 March), promotes the view that we have an inherent right to go wherever we choose, and that this is being usurped by rich, selfish landowners for no good reason.

The situation is a lot more complex. Ironically the well-being of the moors, grouse and other wildlife can be assured only because owners actively manage them for the income that the shooting brings in - otherwise the heather and grouse would be replaced by grass and sheep. Two or three visitors will cause no harm but thousands of walkers and their dogs will scare birds, trample plants and erode hillsides. Perhaps the right- to-roam lobby should ask whether it is they who are being too selfish and whether conservation and the environment are not better served by the status quo.

CG Palmer

Baslow, Derbyshire

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