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Access To The Open Countryside In England And Wales: Consultation Paper

Volume 590: debated on Thursday 18 June 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether, for the purposes of the proposals in

Access to the Open Countryside (February 1998), they will exclude mossland which can be horticulturalised. [HL2217]

We will consider the precise types of land to which any new right of access would apply in the light of responses to the consultation paper, Access to the Open Countryside in England & Wales.

asked Her Majesty's Government:How they plan to ensure that farmers will be able to guarantee that their crops are disease-free and that they meet the standards required by food retailers if greater numbers of the public and their dogs are allowed access to farming land under the proposals in

Access to the Open Countryside (February 1998); and [HL2214]

How they will guarantee farmers that agricultural land will not be damaged by the increased access proposed in Access to the Open Countryside (February 1998). [HL2218]

The Government's proposals set out in our consultation paper Access to the Open Countryside in England & Wales specifically exclude agricultural land other than that used for extensive grazing. Our proposals would not, therefore, affect land on which crops are growing. Experience of permitting access to land used for extensive grazing suggests that access is compatible with such use.

asked Her Majesty's Government:How they will guarantee the safety of walkers when they are given greater access to land on which animals are grazing as a result of the proposals in

Access to the Open Countryside (February 1998). [HL2215]

The Government's proposals reflect our view that walkers should bear the primary responsibility for their own safety on affected land. The proposals exclude agricultural land other than that used for extensive grazing. A significant amount of public access already takes place uneventfully on such land. We would expect the proposed codes of practice for walkers, produced by the Countryside Commission and Countryside Council for Wales, to include any necessary guidance on safety.

asked Her Majesty's Government:How, for the purposes of the proposals in

Access to the Open Countryside (February 1998), they will define open downland as opposed to permanent pasture. [HL2216]

The Government have asked the Countryside Commission and the Countryside Council for Wales to make recommendations on the identification of land to which a new right of access might apply, and to provide appropriate advice on its definition.