FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS
26/04 29 January 2004
Access To The Countryside - Dedicated Land Offers New
Government's programme to improve public access to the countryside
took a step forward today, as Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael
launched guidance for land managers on how to dedicate land voluntarily.
the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, the public will enjoy
a new right of access on foot to England's 'open country' including
mountain, moor, heath, downland and registered common land by the
end of 2005.
making a dedication, landowners and long leaseholders can expand
that list to include areas which are not already covered by the
new right, such as woodland and coastal land. Higher rights than
access on foot, such as cycling and horse riding, can also be introduced.
land would confer a right of access permanently or, in the case
of leasehold land, until the dedicator's lease expires.
guidance provides landholders and leaseholders with an opportunity
to create new access opportunities across land which would not otherwise
be available to the public. Making a dedication also means that
existing access opportunities can be protected for future generations
Forestry Commission has already shown its support by making a commitment
to dedicate its entire freehold estate. I hope others will follow
the example set by the Commission by considering the case for making
guidance is designed to provide potential dedicators with advice
to help them decide whether making a dedication is right for them.
It contains model forms which can be used by landowners and leaseholders
wishing to make a dedication, and details of the bodies which can
be approached for additional help and information.
of the guidance and the regulations on dedication are available
from the Defra website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/cl/accessopen.htm