Welsh government review land access

A review announced by the Welsh government could soon change the type of access granted to walkers and climbers in the Welsh countryside.

Following a request from the Welsh Minister for Sports and Culture to re-evaluate land access, climbing hotspots including those on sea cliffs, crags on private woodland and non-open access mountain and moorland, could become accessible to all. Currently, many of these sites can only be accessed by trespassing, which has led to walkers being aggressively asked to leave certain areas.

Work will focus on increasing access to the outdoors in both urban and rural areas, improving Wales’ extensive network of trails, and increasing land available for allotments and other community projects. The Welsh Government also state the need to “secure better access to the outdoors, simplify the current regulatory framework, and provide clarity and certainty over where people can go and what they can do there”.

Landowners, farming unions, local authorities and stakeholders (including the BMC) have already put forward their views regarding access to the countryside, with a decision likely to be reached in 2015. Current land access in England and Wales is limited, with walkers forbidden access to trails unless deemed Open Access or a right of way.


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