The BMC vision is for anyone, anywhere in the country, to be able to move through the countryside and beyond, respectfully and enjoyably, without barriers to access. Help us understand how you think access rights could be improved by taking our short survey.
The time is right now, with renewed political interest, to think beyond the access provision we currently have in England and Wales. No one should have to travel far to experience the enormous health and social benefits of being in nature.
We need new legislation to ensure that everyone lives close to accessible green or blue space; to expand the freedom to roam; to help protect and improve the existing paths and access network, and to establish sound frameworks to support public access in the long-term. Everyone should have easy access to high quality spaces where they can walk, cycle, swim, paddle, climb or carry out their activity responsibly and legally. Sadly, this isn’t the case - almost 20 million people in England do not have green or blue space within 15 minutes’ walk of their home and recreational activities are often restricted to small areas.
Currently in England the public have a ‘right to roam’ in areas designated as ‘open country’ (mountain, moor, heath and down or common land) under the Countryside Rights of Way Act (CROW) – which are shown as a yellow wash on OS maps. But, right now, it only covers 8% of England and it is not equally distributed. Along the coast, we also have a right to roam a coastal margin, shown as a magenta wash on maps.
Please undertake this short survey to help us understand how you think access rights could be improved and the types of activities we should all be able to enjoy (it will take under 5 minutes).
Access rights are a devolved responsibility meaning that the Welsh Government also have the power to extend the CROW Act in Wales or otherwise reform access. In 2021, the BMC participated in the Welsh Government Access Reform Advisory Group to recommend expanding access in Wales, but recommendations from this are yet to emerge.
WATCH: The Climate Project - help fight climate change on our moorlands on BMC TV
The BMC's Climate Project supports the work of Moors for the Future.
Your support will help:
🌱 Actively fight the climate crisis
🛡️ Protect endangered wildlife
❌ 🔥 Reduce wildfire risk
❌ 🌊 Reduce flooding risk
It costs £25 to plant one square metre of sphagnum moss and create a healthy moor. hanks to you, we’ve raised £30,000 for The Climate Project so far. This will restore 1,200 square meters of sphagnum on our Peak District moors.
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