Natural England dedicates nature reserves for access

Posted by Ed Douglas on 12/09/2012
Lizard National Nature Reserve: dedicated access

Last year Natural England agreed that all its National Nature Reserves (NNRs) and similar holdings should be legally dedicated for permanent public access unless there were compelling reasons on particular sites not to do so. Now work is underway to make that decision a reality.

Natural England says the process will take up to four years, and in that time the organisation will assess all its eligible NNRs and then deliver recommendations in batches to its chief executive for approval, starting this autumn. The first rights of access will come into force next year.

Once created, these rights of access will run with the land permanently. Under the terms of the relevant legislation, dedicated access is for recreation on foot, but Natural England says it will look at improving access for horse riding and cycling where possible, along specified tracks or to provide links with existing routes.

In formulating its recommendations, Natural England says that a key requirement will be meeting the primary nature conservation purpose of National Nature Reserves, while adopting the least restrictive option for access possible. Access staff, site staff and nature conservation specialists will work together to explore access at each site, including other partners where relevant.

The BMC has welcomed this step by Natural England. The BMC has also dedicated its own properties under CROW legislation, including Horseshoe Quarry.
 



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Anonymous User
17/02/2013
I am very surprised and disappointed that this change has had so little publicity. A group of horseriders have been having an ongoing problem with a new Warden on an NNR in that, for no apparent reason he has withdrawn riding rights. These rights have been enjoyed for over 50 years with very little problem in the past. Parish Councils and local groups are attempting to reach a compromise. Perhaps if we had known about this change previously this may have helped in the negotiations.

It is very worrying that 1 person has taken upon himself such a decision which appears to be in direct contradiction of everything on the Natural England website about welcoming users to their land. There is no info on the local reserve website either about changes to access that he has introduced. Such behaviour from a member of Natural England staff does nothing but harm to the image of the organisation, and has certainly soured relations and introduced conflict with local residents in way that has never happened before. He and his staff hav e been extremely rude to riders arriving at the NNR who are not aware of the bans he has introduced. We local, and I stress local riders feel very discriminated against as we feel we treat the Reserve with care and wish to continue to work with the staff to look after the Reserve, whilst dog owners allow their loose dogs to cause damage with no penalties! We feel that we are an easy and undeserving target of an overzealous and overprotective individual.

This Reserve is the Saltfleeetby/Theddlethorpe NNR
Anonymous User
17/02/2013
I am very surprised and disappointed that this change has had so little publicity. A group of horseriders have been having an ongoing problem with a new Warden on an NNR in that, for no apparent reason he has withdrawn riding rights. These rights have been enjoyed for over 50 years with very little problem in the past. Parish Councils and local groups are attempting to reach a compromise. Perhaps if we had known about this change previously this may have helped in the negotiations.

It is very worrying that 1 person has taken upon himself such a decision which appears to be in direct contradiction of everything on the Natural England website about welcoming users to their land. There is no info on the local reserve website either about changes to access that he has introduced. Such behaviour from a member of Natural England staff does nothing but harm to the image of the organisation, and has certainly soured relations and introduced conflict with local residents in way that has never happened before. He and his staff hav e been extremely rude to riders arriving at the NNR who are not aware of the bans he has introduced. We local, and I stress local riders feel very discriminated against as we feel we treat the Reserve with care and wish to continue to work with the staff to look after the Reserve, whilst dog owners allow their loose dogs to cause damage with no penalties! We feel that we are an easy and undeserving target of an overzealous and overprotective individual.

This Reserve is the Saltfleeetby/Theddlethorpe NNR

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Continuing our look at the work of BMC volunteers supporting our specialist committees. Access and conservation is considered by many members to be the most important area of BMC work, and the Access Management Group (AMG) sets the overall direction for the organisation’s access, conservation and environment work.
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