To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make funds available to create temporary rights of way over land which is not in the set-aside scheme so as to link land which is in the set-aside scheme, and to which public access could be given, to areas over which the public have access rights or with existing rights of way.
I have no powers to make funds available to create temporary rights of way to enable set-aside land to be linked to the existing network of public rights of way. Owners or occupiers of land are, of course free to dedicate land as a public right of way or to create permissive paths. Under section 25 of the Highways Act 1980 the highway authorities can, by agreement with owners or occupiers of land create paths and provide payments.
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will include as a condition of the registration of all land in set-aside schemes a requirement that rights of way must be maintained in good order.
No. It is already a statutory requirement that all landowners should maintain stiles and gates across public rights of way, keep rights of way clear of overhanging vegetation and prevent rights of way from becoming obstructed by, for example, growing crops or barbed wire. Set-aside land is no different from any other land in this respect.