Show your support for our Open Wales campaign

Posted by Catherine Flitcroft on 21/01/2014
BMC Open Wales campaign logo

Do you walk, climb, canoe, cycle, horse-ride, swim or fish in the Welsh countryside? If so, you have an opportunity to back an initiative which could fundamentally improve the way people access and enjoy the outdoors in Wales – and the BMC is asking for your support.

The BMC has launched a campaign to help raise awareness of the Welsh government’s radical review of the law surrounding access to the outdoors. Our 'Open Wales' campaign aims to encourage the Welsh government by demonstrating our support of the many benefits a more accessible countryside would bring. 

The Welsh government recently announced a review of the legislation and guidance relating to how people access and enjoy the outdoors in Wales. They wish to see better opportunities for walkers, climbers, canoeists, cyclists, mountain bikers, horse-riders, wild swimmers, anglers and the public in general to explore the beauty of Wales.  They are looking to review the laws governing where people can go and what they can do, making them easier to understand and less bureaucratic.

In particular, the review will focus on three main areas:

  • increasing responsible access to the outdoors, both in urban and rural areas
  • improving the extensive public path network
  • increasing the amount of land available for allotments and community gardening.

The BMC fully supports the aim of improving access and we are asking you to pledge your support too. Access laws which are simple and easy to understand will increase opportunities for walkers, climbers and the public alike. 

If you support the idea of increasing access to the outdoors in Wales please hit ‘support’  (The button is located at the bottom of the page. One vote per IP address). 

Stifling the positive announcement of the review, an alliance of landowning and angling bodies have responded negatively and in force to the proposals, expressing fears that ‘untrammelled’ and ‘unfettered’ access could lead to ‘a serious impact on ecology and stock with disturbance and damage to crops, hedges and waterways’.

The BMC believes these fears are unfounded and is concerned that the negative response could divert or derail the Welsh government away from what was originally a positive and hopeful proposal. We want our members and the many people who enjoy the Welsh countryside to demonstrate the considerable support that exists for the plans.

Elfyn Jones, BMC access officer for Wales, said: “The review brings a rare and vital opportunity to drastically improve access for the people of Wales and its many visitors.  Responsible recreation and conservation have been proven to go hand in hand.  That’s why we’re calling on everyone who values access to our countryside, mountains, rivers and coastline to support our Open Wales campaign to see access laws extended and simplified.”

The BMC has 5000 members in Wales but these proposals will affect our entire membership of 76,000. Millions enjoy the beauty and unique qualities that the Welsh coastline and countryside offer.

This is phase 1 of the Open Wales campaign where we are trying to raise awareness and pledge our support for the idea. Phase 2 will be launched once the Welsh government green paper is published, when we’ll have the opportunity to comment on the specific proposals.

Why is a review of access legislation needed in Wales?

In Scotland the law guarantees “a statutory right of responsible access to land and inland waters for recreation”. In simple terms, you can go where you want provided you behave appropriately. In England and Wales, however, rights are much more limited. If land is not designated as ‘Open Access’ (Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000) – principally mountain, moor, heath, down and common land – you do not have a right to be there unless on a right of way or permissive path.

Currently there are areas of land in Wales of great value to climbers and hill walkers which are technically only accessible by trespass or de facto (tolerated) access, such as most of the sea cliffs, crags on private woodlands, outcrops on enclosed or semi-enclosed land or land on mountains and moorland that is not mapped as open access.  For example, access to the great sea cliffs of Gogarth while currently welcomed by the occupiers, the RSPB, is not legally secure.

Other limitations of current access laws in Wales include:

  • Access to, and on water, is creating areas of conflict, (e.g.between canoeists and anglers)
     
  • Doesn’t address the need for multi-use (e.g. the use of mountain bikes to access crags along tracks that are not designated bridleways)
     
  • Current provisions create confusion (e.g.; dogs have to be on a short lead when on access land but not on public footpaths)
     
  • High cost to administration (e.g. the current CROW open access review has led to over 20 appeals to the planning inspectorate which may lead to potentially expensive and time consuming public hearings)
     
  • Provision of green space, including allotments, is patchy.

New access legislation would secure better access to the outdoors for responsible recreation, provide the opportunity to modernise and simplify the laws making them easier to understand and would allow the public as well as landowners to grasp the extent of access.  Access could be conditional upon following an access code or charter that would be legally enforceable, similar to the current model in Scotland and some other European countries. This would provide clarity and certainty over where people can go and what they can do there.

Elfyn Jones believes “the freedom to enjoy the Welsh countryside responsibly should be a right that is secured by law for both the people of Wales and visitors who contribute so much to the Welsh economy”.

What are the benefits of more opportunities for outdoor recreation and improved access laws?

Health – It has been estimated that the cost of physical inactivity to Wales is around £650 million per year.[i]  However, only 37% of men and 24% of women in Wales are reported to meet their recommended levels of physical activity.[ii]

Social & Economic – 60% of the adult population in Wales would like to visit the outdoors more often [iii] and it is estimated that in 2009 there were 28 million walking related trips to the Welsh countryside and coast.  Expenditure associated with these walking and hill walking trips was around £632m.[iv]  The Wales Coast Path in its first year has generated £32.2m to the regional economy and 730 person-years of employment. [v]

Environmental –  Increased public access to the countryside supports the  ambition of reconnecting people with the natural environment and ensuring this is a valued part of everyone’s life in Wales. The harmful effects from disconnection with nature – sometimes called ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’   – are increasingly recognised by the scientific community.[vi]

The BMC supports the Welsh Government review of access laws which could fundamentally change the way hill walkers, climbers and the wider public experience the countryside in Wales, and could even result in an open access charter similar to the Scottish system.  Hit ‘support’ below if you agree.

For more information please contact the BMC Access Officer, Wales, Elfyn Jones at elfyn@thebmc.co.uk  or on 07554 998910.


[i] Climbing higher: creating an active Wales. A 5 year strategic action plan (Welsh Assembly Government 2009)

[ii] Physical activity statistics 2012, British Heart Foundation

[iii] Welsh Outdoor Recreation Survey: 2011 Results and 2008 / 2011 Comparison

[iv] The Economic Impact of Walking and Hill Walking in Wales; Welsh Economy Research Unit, Cardiff University 2011.

[v] The Economic Impact of Wales Coast Path Visitor Spending on Wales 2012, interim report. Welsh Economy Research Unit, Cardiff

[vi] Oxford Farming Conference (2012), Farming’s Value to Society, www.ofc.org.uk

Please show your support by clicking on the 'support' button below.  Please note, only one vote per IP address is possible. The support icon will disappear once you have shown your support and you vote has been counted.



Hit Support

4380 people support this campaign

« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 38148 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

BMC subsidised outdoor training courses at Plas y Brenin
4
BMC subsidised outdoor training courses at Plas y Brenin

The BMC and Plas y Brenin are working together to deliver a programme of subsidised training courses to help you to take your first steps in to the great outdoors.
Read more »

Pembroke Festival of Climbing
0
Pembroke Festival of Climbing

The first ever BMC supported Pembrokeshire Festival of Climbing is being held this weekend at Bosherston in south Pembrokeshire. Organised by keen local climbers and with a great forecast, good tides, lots of bacon butties and a free talk by BMC ambassador James McHaffie this promises to be the "mother" of all climbing meets!
Read more »

Welsh National Parks under threat
0
Welsh National Parks under threat

A new report commissioned by the Welsh Government recommends sweeping changes to the core purpose and governance of National Parks and other protected landscapes in Wales. The Future Landscapes Wales report has raised serious concerns amongst conservation bodies and recreation groups about the very purpose and future protection of these special places.
Read more »

Post a Comment
Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
197
1) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
I fully support these initiatives.
2) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
I support
3) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
Wales is stunning and for people to want to support and take care of this natural and wonderful place, they should have access to it. Thank you/Diolch
4) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
As a regular visitor to Wales with my younger son working in Wales, I fully support an Open Wales initiative
5) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
There are many other types of users that are supporting wider access. We need to join together to show how many people & their legitimate activities are limited by a system from the middle ages. Swimmers & canoeists are bound by an archaic system of access (or more correctly no access) that nobody understands. I picked this up this link from an mountain bike facebook page.
6) Anonymous
15/01/2014
This comment broke the house rules and has been removed
7) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
I would welcome improved access to the countryside in Wales, and would hope that users would be reasonable and responsible in the way their use of the land effects others.
8) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
we should be allowed to enjoy all of what wales has to offer not just a tiny fraction of it
9) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
I fully support the Welsh Governments objective of increasing access to the countryside and in particular to rivers through new clear and secure legislation in conjunction with codes of practice to ensure appropriate protection of wildlife and the environment and responsible consideration of the needs of all users.
10) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
I fully support these ideals.
11) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
I fully support the above
12) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
I have been canoeing for only two years but in this time I have been harassed on two occasions about my presence on the river Dee between Llangollen and Bangor-on-Dee. As I understand it, the local angling clubs have been unable to demonstrate their right to control navigation. A definitive clarification of the law regarding access to waterways would clear the ambiguity around this issue.
13) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
I support these initiatives.
14) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
I would really be keen to see the access to waterways sorted. I have had my car windows smashed by fishermen, shouted at and even had stones thrown at me. We really need a sensible solution to this.
15) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
I support fully.
16) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
The system used in Scotland works well and encourages RESPONSIBLE use. Areas where one group had a sense of entitlement previously resulted in conflict and sometime irresponsible use by the excluded groups; the legal right of responsible access has removed most of these conflicts. Spreading use over a bigger area in Wales will reduce any damage at 'honeypots'. As a resident of England but not far from the border, better access with fewer conflicts would encourage me to visit Wales more often and, as I always do, support the local economy.
17) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
Let's have something similar to the scots.
18) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
fully supported
19) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
It works in many other parts of the world; with responsible users and education, we can all share our fantastic country.
20) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
Trust.
21) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
I fully support this
22) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
I fully support and welcome the Welsh Government reviewing the current CROW access, with the hope that access to the beautiful countryside of Wales is opened up to a similar level to that currently enjoyed in Scotland. This would really help encourage tourism, bringing much needed jobs and investment.
23) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
I support
24) Anonymous User
15/01/2014
there does seems to be on on going 'hangover' effect tied to the historical system of the landed gentry that precludes those who weren't lucky enough to inherit tracts of land, including wilderness areas, from accessing them. Those who seek to gain access to such land and also to waterways ( I personally kayak on steep rivers) invariably have a keen sense of wishing to help preserve natural resources and to share them equitably. many of the concerns raised , especially in my experience from the angling fraternity are based on a wish to exclude others from access for either spurious reasons ( perhaps linked to financial considerations eg cost of stocking game rivers / worries about revenues from fishing) or based on assumptions about the extreme sports / outdoor community which are formed through prejudice rather than experience. I think a meeting of minds / good dialogue between different groups might reveal more common ground than expected and certainly help to clarify whether concerns raised were legitimate or not
25) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Look at Scotland and their open access rulings, is Scotland currently trampled down and destroyed from uncontrolled access? No! So what have land owners and Anglers got so against it. If it works one place it can work elsewhere. Besides its a little unfair to give all the warm weather to Anglers and the cold to the Paddlers don't you think with regards to some of the River access in Wales and notably England as well, just saying.
26) Richl1
16/01/2014
I fully support the objectives of the BMC Open Wales campaign
27) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
I support
28) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Scotland is showing how modern access laws can be introduced, and once in place how they can be of benefit to all parties. A good example of this is that canoeists now work with angling organisations to jointly promote the message about keeping salmon parasites out of Scotland. As fellow users of the rivers, the two groups have a common interest in preventing the import of an invasive non-native species. The salmon parasite represents a far greater threat to angling than having canoes on rivers, and a far greater threat to canoeing than having anglers on the rivers. This has to be a far more fair, civilised and equitable way to manage access to water, and share a valuable resource, than the scenarios described in 12) and 14). I wholly support this initiative from the Welsh Government.
29) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
i support it
30) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
I support the BMC for wanting the general public to have access to
all of Wales in a responsible way. If we all have information about
the areas we want to Climb, walk, paddle, wild swim, paraglide etc it
would make us all better able to understand local concerns.
Unfortunately no one likes change. I wish we could all individually have the same influence
on what happens with the right to roam and swim in All the UK.
31) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Mark Harnden
DofE Manager Cheshire West and Chester
I fully support these initiatives as we try to get young people engaged in the countryside and life changing experiences.
32) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
It's OUR countryside. Access should be for all.
33) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
It's OUR countryside. Access should be for all.
34) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Really admirable what the Welsh Govt and BMC are doing on this front. We have a considerable problem in Ireland in this area - Government Minister (Phil Hogan) one could suspect much more concerned about vested interests and most of our hiking/outdoor interest groups just pussy-footing on the issue. Same old same old for Ireland. Such a pity because the benefits are clear from your excellent article and from the results of efforts by Ireland's Tourism authorities who are very effective and proactive in promoting Ireland as a great hiking destination! Did lots of wonderful walking in the mountains in North Wales a few years back - fabulous and congratulations on this initiative! Best regards
35) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
I fully support this initiative.
36) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
i support
37) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
I fully support this.
38) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
rare opportunity not to be missed, unlikely to be another chance
39) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
I fully support this move by the Welsh Government to open up access in Wales. Tourism is playing an increasingly important economic (and therefore social) role in Wales and the health benefits of improved access to responsible outdoor recreation are also clear. Scotland has shown the way to resolve ancient historical issues of land ownership which excluded all but the landed gentry and those who could afford to pay for fishing/hunting and created a responsible open access system that is beneficial across all socio-economic groups. No doubt there will be similar concerns from the landed gentry (who have great political influence) and groups who currently monopolise access for their own interests to the exclusion of others but these concerns have been resolved in Scotland and should not be a block to progress here in Wales.
40) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
I am proud to support the open wales campain.
Josh
41) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Nid wyf yn cefnogi hyn.
42) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Right of responsible access is a right for all.
43) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
I fully support this campaign

Chris Murnin
44) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
please listen welsh goverment , i want my children to feel they are part of the country they live in, rather than excluded from parts of it because some people think they have been given a mandate to be the custodians of the country side, i for one never gave them this mandate!

ian mccue
45) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
I fully support the initiative, having been the object of abuse and harassment by the angling community when kayaking on Welsh rivers
46) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
The natural environment is a resource to be shared and enjoyed by all to improve the quality of our well being. The outdoors should not be treated as exclusive and the preserve of a few.
47) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Fully support this.... BT care must be taken to ensure responsible use. I would suggest that it would help ('grease the wheels' of this proposal)if landowners had the right to move footpaths that lead through farm yards, gardens, etc. without charging the usual fees.
48) Anonymous
16/01/2014
This comment broke the house rules and has been removed
49) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Moving in the right direction!
50) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Good idea, i fully support it
51) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Access in the National parks has improved for walkers and climbers, but access for Canoeing throughout Wales is poor. Paddling just a km downstream of a popular canoeing river, I received abuse and hostility from fishermen, with my photo taken, despite being pleasant and asking them where they wanted me to paddle to avoid their lines.
The Welsh Government were going to improve access.
I now travel to Scotland or France instead.
16/01/2014
I fully support the above
53) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Health and happiness for all
54) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Should be the same as Scotland throughout the UK
55) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
better to be outdoors enjoying and learning from our natural environment than twiddling thumbs and growing obese with some electronic import
56) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
I would like like to see hangliding and paragliding brought in to this . I would also like to see motorcycle trail riding given a second thought . This is not motocross that I mean but responsible access for trail riders . Mountain bikers are covered in this and horse riding. and the impact from these sports are equally comparable
57) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
I support
58) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
I support, open access for all - let's make this dream a reality
59) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Wales is a beautiful place, let's share it.
60) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
I support.
61) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Hoffwn ddatgan fy mod yn hollol gefnogol i'r ymgyrch yma
62) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
We fully support
this excellent initiative, having enjoyed similar rights in Scotland in company with the rest of the community for years with beneficial effects for all. good luck
63) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Yes supporting these initiatives..
64) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
The new Welsh Coastal Footpath has provided great positive benefit to Wales.
If that could be built on to increase access to the countryside, including rivers, there would be much further benefit to Wales. It is great that this is on the agenda.
65) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
An OPEN WALES would benefit most everyone's wellbeing and no doubt have a positive affect on the so important tourist industry. I therefore support this initiative.
66) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Responsible use should provide advantages (or at least opportunities) to all parties. Excluding activities only promotes breaking the rules aand therefore misuse. Fully supported look forward to the day i'm not breaking the law by bagging a cheeky wild camp :-)
67) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Fully support.
68) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
Gwych I weld y Cyngor Mynydda yn cefnogi hyn, Mae'n hen amser I werin bobol Gymraeg gael yr hawl I fwynhau eu cefngwlad eu hunain, yn yr un modd a'r Alabanwyr.

Brilliant to see the BMC supporting this. It's about time that the Welsh population were given the right to enjoy their own countryside, in the same manner that the Scots can.
69) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
I fully support the campaign to improve access to the magnificent Welsh countryside.
70) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
I fully support the campaign to improve access to the magnificent Welsh countryside.
71) Anonymous User
16/01/2014
This is an important consultation. I applaud the Welsh Government for initiating it and support their goals. A agree with unrestricted access the countryside, wild places, waterways and mountains. I support the proposal.
72) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
Without hesitation ... full support!
73) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
I fully support this we have needed this in Wales for a long, long time and it will bring the much neded economic development to rural areas.
74) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
Any proposal that makes the countryside more accessible for all should be supported!
75) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
Open access becomes increasingly important for the physical and mental health of the nation
76) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
Absolutely support. I applaud the Welsh Government for having the mettle to open up debate on such an important issue in these difficult times. I truly wish them well in finding a resolution that is amicable to all users and landowners and of long term economic benefit to the citizens of Wales.
77) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
I totally support this
It will be good for wales
78) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
I fully support open access.
79) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
In addition to this, how about more control over dam releases to ensure that they have both economic and environmental benefits. The tourism industry in parts of Wales is incredibly dependent on the whims of those deciding when to release water and this frequently occurs with only 2 or three days notice.
80) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
Open responsible access seems to work well in scotland; i support a similar initiative for wales.
81) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
Gets my vote
82) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
Fully supported - particularly access to rivers for paddlers
83) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
alotments, land for people to grow on, also walking and canoeing or rowing in rivers does no harm and is wonderful, good thinking.
name vicky moller, address fachongle isaf SA42 0QR
84) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
I fully support these initiatives. However I do empathize with land owners when companies exploit access to or through private land for commercial gain.
85) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
I fully support these initiatives. However I do empathize with land owners when companies exploit access to or through private land for commercial gain.
86) Anonymous User
17/01/2014
I fully support these initiatives. However I do empathize with land owners when companies exploit access to or through private land for commercial gain.
87) Anonymous User
18/01/2014
I support
88) Anonymous User
18/01/2014
Live and let live
89) Anonymous User
18/01/2014
Sounds like a plan!
90) Anonymous User
19/01/2014
I support!
91) Anonymous User
19/01/2014
I support!
92) Anonymous User
19/01/2014
Access for all
93) Anonymous User
19/01/2014
I believe we should follow the example of Scotland.
94) Anonymous User
20/01/2014
I fully support
95) Anonymous User
20/01/2014
I support fully
96) Anonymous User
20/01/2014
I support this. A fantastic idea.
97) Anonymous User
20/01/2014
I fully suppport this initiative. It must be done.
98) Anonymous
20/01/2014
This comment broke the house rules and has been removed
99) Anonymous User
20/01/2014
I fully support open access
100) Anonymous User
20/01/2014
Encouraging responsible access to the Welsh countryside makes sense. I support this wholeheartedly as a Welsh landowner
101) Anonymous User
20/01/2014
As a walker, climber and kayaker I fully support open access but as in England landowners and anglers want to block any access. If you look at the damage done by fishing lines, bait bags and general litter left by fishermen you wonder why they object about walkers and kayakers. We need to act together to get the same access as the Scots. The BMC, BCU Ramblers Assoc. and all Conservation groups should link arms and fight for access. If we do not fight together we will not win against the landowners and anglers.
102) Anonymous User
20/01/2014
As having lived in Snowdownia for many year and working as an unpaid water bailiff, more education is needed. Poachers and canoeists demanding unfettered access to unnavigable waters cause untold damage to the freshwater pearl conservation scheme and also cause damage to local householders and landowners.
If people want to use these facilities - they should pay for them as do anglers and the people who own the water at Llangollen who provide canoeing.
There is not a bottomless pot of money to pay for the upkeep.
Diolch yn fawr
Gareth Hughes
103) Anonymous
20/01/2014
This comment broke the house rules and has been removed
104) Anonymous
20/01/2014
This comment broke the house rules and has been removed
105) Anonymous
20/01/2014
This comment broke the house rules and has been removed
106) Anonymous User
20/01/2014
Oh, for those who think the rivers of Wales are owned by the landed gentry - they are not. But by club members who typically pay £50 a year membership fir their "rights" and also carry out a lot of conservation work.
Gareth Hughes
107) Anonymous User
21/01/2014
Agreed what we need is the same levels of access enjoyed in Scotland and most of the continent. we only need to look back at the Sankey report and more recently to studies like "WALES IS SHUT" to see that traditional ideas of what keeps Wales afloat have long been in decline. The economic benefit alone is worth having. The potential health and welfare benefits are likewise of value. Too many people are put off by perceptions that land is private. No one shouts at me when I canoe, walk, climb in Scotland so lets have the same here.
108) Anonymous User
21/01/2014
We fully support this and are going to Any Questions which is being recorded in Neath on Friday, so will ask a question about this. Anyone else going to that event - ask a similar one!
109) Anonymous User
21/01/2014
This is a no brainer! I fully support this.
110) Anonymous User
21/01/2014
'Responsible access' is the key to the success of this campaign. Is it clear to everyone, including the farmers on the hills, how this is to be defined at the sharp end of practice? I have been walking the hills and moors of central north Wales (Berwyns, Arenigs, and around) for over 50 years and have had few problems with access, as so many farmers are generous and welcoming as long as they feel they can trust you. But I suggest that we – the experienced walkers and climbers - still have lessons to learn about disturbing the environment, whether that be the human, farmed environment or what we regard as 'nature'. Paul Griffiths.
111) Anonymous User
21/01/2014
Fully support this very worthwhile initiative.
112) Anonymous User
21/01/2014
Fully support this very worthwhile initiative.
113) Anonymous User
21/01/2014
I fully support open and responsible access especially for canoeing and swimming. The open countryside be it England or Wales should be open to all, not just anglers.
114) Anonymous User
21/01/2014
Fully supported
115) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
I support. Everyone should be able to enjoy this fantastic countryside.
Lets hope it spreads to England as well....
116) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
Open Wales is definitely the way forward.
117) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
If it works in Scotland then there can be no reason not to extend the principles to cover Wales (and, for the matter, England).
118) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
Dwi'n cefnogi yr uchod. Mae hawliau tebyg i'w gweld yn gweithio yn yr Alban.

I fully support the above
119) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
I fully support fhis

Anthony ward
120) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
Defo support this great idea!!
121) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
I support responsible access to the Welsh countryside.
122) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
I fuuly support this - responsible access to the outdoors brings benefits to both participants and the communities nearby
123) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
great part of the country, open it all
124) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
Whats not to support in this long overdue suggestion. I would obviously welcome improved access to the countryside in Wales, which would be to almost everybody's benefit both by encouraging exercise and thereby improving general health and well being but also by boosting local economies. You need look no further than the Welsh Coast Path for evidence of what good can come of such initiatives.
125) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
I fully support this initiative
126) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
Fully support responsible Open access.
127) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
I fully support the campaign as long as the residents and land owners are fairly consulted and treated. And as long as the public respect them. Diolch and thanks
128) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
I fully support this initiative. It Would be good for the people, businesses and environment in Wales.
129) Anonymous User
22/01/2014
Support it
130) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
The access model in Scotland shows the public can be trusted to act responsibly in the outdoors it is time that both England and Wales moved with the times. Support genuine open access.
131) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
I support greater access in Wales
132) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
I fully support an Open Wales initiative
133) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
Local shops, cafes, pubs, guest houses and hotels must all be craving for more open access to the countryside. Better access should not only be tolerated but celebrated. I remember in the days of the Mike Jones rallies on the Afon Dee; Llangollen was heaving.
134) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
I fully support.
135) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
A worthy cause,fully support.
136) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
I fully support the Open Wales campaign. I believe that users of the Welsh countryside will behave responsibly when they have appropriate advice and are given the opportunity to do so. An improved right of access to open country would be a great development for Wales.
Anne
137) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
Rob Eagle
As a climber, hill walker and kayaker who has previously lived in both North and South Wales, and still enjoys return visits I fully support more access. Some hills and rivers have been contentious for too long.
138) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
I am both a member of the BMC - and fully support its work - and a lifelong angler. Unrestricted access to rivers and lakes in Wales would have a serious effect to the already difficult task of protecting our fish stocks. Over the years I have seen a great deal of damage caused by inconsiderate canoeists damaging salmon and trout spawning areas. There is the rubbish left on the banks where canoists have stopped to picnic and cannot be bothered to take it home. Anglers pay a great deal for their access to the waters and deserve the right to fish in peace. I beieve all people wanting access to our waters should pay an equal share to the upkeep of them. As such canoists should have to purchase a licence, like anglers, to access the waters and pay towards the upkeep. Until this is done I will not support any plans for unrestricted access and will continue the fight to protect our rivers and lakes.
Fred Salt BMC member N237979. Mountaineer, Climber, Canoeist and Angler
139) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
I support
140) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
This debate needs to be informed by a few facts: Wales is a lot smaller than Scotland and much more accessible from several major conurbations, therefore its fragile ecosystems are under far greater pressure. In Scotland, massive swathes of land, lochs and rivers are owned and managed by wealthy landowners/estates rearing high return stag/deer/grouse. In Wales a lot of the land along the coast and in the hills belongs to small scale farmers who are struggling to eke out a hard living from low value livestock. I love accessing the countryside in my homeland, but I don't see it as my right to roam freely over/through other people's property which is their livelihood, their living, their business. Its a playground for us but who picks up the tab for the maintenance and repair which results from the erosion, pollution etc?
141) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
I support this
142) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
I support the call for open Wales As a regular visiter we enjoy the kayaking and climbing on offer.

Lets ban fishing
143) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
Great initiative - let us please ensure that we fully involve all users of the land and that we are all prepared to make compromises - climbers, farmers, conservationists, canoeists, anglers, bird watchers, walkers, mountain bikers, dog walkers, paragliders, wild campers etc. We also need to ensure that wider issues are taken account of eg if it were not for the hill farmers grazing their animals access to the hills would be restricted by uncontrolled growth of vegetation, so we may also need to work with the UK government and the EU ensure that farmers get the support that they need. Bob Hotchkis.
144) Anonymous User
23/01/2014
I support this fantastic idea fully.
145) Anonymous User
24/01/2014
we must hold on to the freedom we have, to lose anymore just isnt on. the right to roam freely is one we should all treasure,
146) Anonymous User
24/01/2014
we must hold on to the freedom we have, to lose anymore just isnt on. the right to roam freely is one we should all treasure,
147) Anonymous User
24/01/2014
Fully support
148) Anonymous User
24/01/2014
Wales should certainly have similar access legislation to that of Scotland.
149) Anonymous User
24/01/2014
The countryside should be for everyone, not just ramblers - as long as they parties involved don't generate damage - such motorcross bikes & 4WDs
150) Anonymous User
24/01/2014
I support this move.
151) Anonymous User
24/01/2014
I support the Open Wales initiative
152) Anonymous User
24/01/2014
I fully support these initiatives.
153) Anonymous User
24/01/2014
I fully support these initiatives.
154) Anonymous User
24/01/2014
This is a must, for now and the future.
155) Anonymous User
24/01/2014
Wedi dros ddeugain mlynedd o gerdded llwybrau, crwydro cefn gwlad a dringo mynyddoedd ledled Cymru dydw i erioed wedi cael unrhyw drafferth o ran mynediad - gydag un eithriad. Yr eithriad yw llwybrau cyhoeddus mewn cyflwr gwael e.e. gordyfiant neu wedi eu cau. Ond, problem hanesyddol yw hon yn bennaf (ond nid yn llwyr) gydag arwyddo a chlirio a chynnal a chadw llwybrau wedi gwella'n arw. Byddwn yn cefnogi ymdrechion i barhau i wella mynediad yn y llefydd hynny lle mae hawliau tramwyo eisoes. Nid lle chwarae yn unig gwlad Cymru er mor werthfawr yw gweithgareddau awyr agored o safbwynt y rhai sy'n cymryd rhan ac o safbwynt cyfraniad hynny i economi Cymru. Mae hefyd yn fan gwaith ac mae angen cadw cydbwysedd ac ofnaf y byddai gor-ymestyn hawliau mynediad yn ddi-lyfethair yn chwalu'r cydbwysedd yma. Dydi'r angen am hawl mynediad i bobman ddim wedi ei brofi - yn sicr o safbwynt cerddwyr - mae cefn gwlad yn frith o lwybrau cyhoeddus ac mae hawliau tramwy i fynydd-dir yn golygu ei bod yn bosib crwydro ein mynydd-dir eisoes.
156) Anonymous User
25/01/2014
My full support for this legislation change. It would really benefit this country. Diolch
157) Anonymous User
25/01/2014
Sensible access for sensible people.... Makes sense to me.
158) Anonymous User
25/01/2014
I support these initiatives
159) Anonymous User
26/01/2014
I support the bmc initiative
160) Anonymous User
27/01/2014
Fully support the propsed review.
161) Anonymous User
27/01/2014
I support responsible wider access. Unfortunately there exists some antagonism to existing rights of way even within National Parks.
162) Anonymous User
27/01/2014
Wales is one of the nicest place I have spent time in
163) Anonymous User
27/01/2014
I support this - it would be brilliant
164) Anonymous User
27/01/2014
I support this - it would be brilliant
165) Anonymous User
27/01/2014
It would be great to see more access on rivers for canoeing and kayaking.
166) Anonymous User
28/01/2014
David Cowan, Shrewsbury.
Yes, I am a fisherman, and yes, there are irresponsible fishermen, perhaps fisherwomen. However, we ARE licenced, and our licence money goes into protecting (I hope) the quality of our rivers. Some canoeists (on the Wye, for example) are very sensible about the way that they respect my fishing and I respect their right to canoe. However, some are not, and a way of controlling and licencing canoes/kayaks should be introduced. Why should fishermen/women be the only ones to pay to use the water's facilities? Perhaps the registering and annual licencing of each water craft would be useful, rather than licencing people here, as so many are used by centres for use by differing groups? Finally, the key word is 'responsible'. None of us have any right to use anything in the natural world, unless it is 'responsibly'.
167) Anonymous User
30/01/2014
I support the BMC campaign for access to wales
168) Anonymous User
01/02/2014
I fully support the initiative. Simplification of access to mountain/moorland environment will be very helpful, particularly in communicating to young people about their access rights. Full access to the river network would be hugely beneficial - not just for canoeists, but also opportunities for tourism.
169) Anonymous User
05/02/2014
This land is OUR land. I support the Open Wales initiative.
170) Anonymous User
05/02/2014
This would be so fantastic for lovers of the countryside!
171) Anonymous User
06/02/2014
it will be great to allow people access to some beautiful countryside without being told you have no right to be there!!
172) Anonymous User
07/02/2014
Being a regular visitor to Wales, I would welcome improved access.
173) Anonymous User
10/02/2014
Fully support such a stunning area anyone should be able to enjoy
174) Anonymous User
13/02/2014
Can only be good for the Welsh Tourist Industry and I fully support the BMC in encouraging greater access.
175) Anonymous User
14/02/2014
I support
176) Anonymous User
15/02/2014
Access for all
177) Anonymous User
17/02/2014
Would be fantastic to have easier and more access to the area around where we live. Both my husband and I are outdoor instructors so obviously it would be great.
178) Anonymous User
17/02/2014
whole heartedly support!
179) Anonymous User
18/02/2014
I fully support the BMC on this issue.
180) Anonymous User
19/02/2014
I support the open Wales initiative and I have participated in a wide variety of outdoor sports including camping, canoeing, climbing and angling. I have spent most of my adult life in the U.S. where access to wilderness areas is mostly open to all and I would just like to comment on some of the concerns made by some anglers. First of all, most spawning areas are not suitable for canoeing and would not be affected (headwaters & small streams etc.). Second, on rivers I have fished which support both canoeists and anglers, canoeists are mostly active during the day, whilst the best fishing for game fish (for example trout) takes place in the early morning, late evening and at night. However, of course, this is also the time in America when large black bears are active. For example, whilst fly fishing on the N.Y. Ausable in the late evening, I had a large female bear with two cubs wade across the river just a few yards in front of me. This was an absolutely gorgeous sight and I paused to watch this until the bears moved out of sight. Now here I know from my youth that this is also a good time to fish but apparently from a web site I recently accessed local anglers are really bothered by bleating sheep at night. Need I say more. :)
181) Anonymous User
26/02/2014
Keeping the hills open costs next to nothing and the local economy of that area benefits greatly from tourist pounds being spent in the area. Hill users happy, local economy boosted, what is the problem?
182) Anonymous User
27/02/2014
I support the environmental sustainable approach to open access to water, craig and cave. All of us appreciate the positive benefits both personal and community in our participation outdoors and the rights of others to enjoy them. Our joint co-operation in education and improvement activities should improve understanding between participants. No group has the right to veto others responsible use, especially when they themselves intentional kill wildlife.
183) Anonymous User
01/03/2014
you have my support
184) Anonymous User
03/03/2014
We love the great outdoors in Wales - let's encourage more people to 'get out there' through the Open Wales initiative.
185) Anonymous User
05/03/2014
Staggeringly beautiful countryside on our doorstep... I fully support this.
186) Anonymous User
05/04/2014
I walk in Becons and so I fully support this
187) Anonymous User
09/04/2014
Unfortunately it seems that the green paper has been kicked into the long grass. It keeps being delayed, and it seems that this is due to pressure from landowners, angling interests, Countryside Alliance etc.
188) Anonymous User
15/04/2014
I completely support this proposal. Wales and its people can only benefit from having better access to the outdoors for all.
24/04/2014
I would support totally a welsh open access charter.
190) Anonymous User
17/05/2014
Excellent campaign - Scotland shows what is possible.
191) Anonymous User
05/07/2014
Cavers in Wales also need access.
192) Anonymous User
05/07/2014
Cavers also need access in Wales.
193) Anonymous
06/10/2014
This comment broke the house rules and has been removed
194) Anonymous User
22/12/2014
I was born on this land, it is not unreasonable that I should be able to wander where ever I choose and enjoy its splendor.
195) Anonymous User
25/10/2015
I support with reservations. Scotland is not like Wales - it is much more sparsely populated. I am a BMC member and have enjoyed walking and climbing in the hills of Snowdonia for over 50 years. I have two concerns though. Firstly, there are a great many people living within a short drive of Snowdonia who do not understand the countryside at all; many of them are genuinely unaware of how tough it is to try and make a living from farming, and do not appreciate that a single gate left open or plastic bag discarded can be a disaster. I think the solution here is greater public education, with informative signs at access points. Secondly, although for example the vast conifer forests above Betws y Coed seem to happily accommodate good public access, there are many people, myself included, who own small, fenced hobby woodlands which we manage for wildlife conservation, crafts, picnics, camping, charcoal production and the like; they are in effect our gardens and sometimes our work places as well, although we do not live adjacent to them. There are often hazards such as hot charcoal kilns etc. I do not feel that full public access to small hobby woodlands is appropriate, but would be happy to contribute to the debate on this very important issue. I am also worried about the possibility of litigation should someone hurt themselves and the high cost of insuring against this. Chris, BMC member G259127.
196) Anonymous User
08/11/2015
Has anyone thought to address bio security issues? Mainly to do with transmission of diseases between stock on different farms. eg. I disinfect my boots after walking on common ground in order not to spread diseases such as foot rot or orf to my own animals, how could I insure ramblers and cyclists would take as much care?
197) Anonymous User
14/06/2016
At 70 years old I've seen footpaths & right of way routes vanish for various reasons. Once gone they're gone forever

RELATED ARTICLES

BMC subsidised outdoor training courses at Plas y Brenin
4

The BMC and Plas y Brenin are working together to deliver a programme of subsidised training courses to help you to take your first steps in to the great outdoors.
Read more »

Pembroke Festival of Climbing
0

The first ever BMC supported Pembrokeshire Festival of Climbing is being held this weekend at Bosherston in south Pembrokeshire. Organised by keen local climbers and with a great forecast, good tides, lots of bacon butties and a free talk by BMC ambassador James McHaffie this promises to be the "mother" of all climbing meets!
Read more »

Welsh National Parks under threat
0

A new report commissioned by the Welsh Government recommends sweeping changes to the core purpose and governance of National Parks and other protected landscapes in Wales. The Future Landscapes Wales report has raised serious concerns amongst conservation bodies and recreation groups about the very purpose and future protection of these special places.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £15.72.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »