I enjoy walking in East Northants woodlands, because there is such a wide range of woodland to chose from.
That said, while out and about I’m always seeing woods and spinneys that I’m not sure I’m allowed in and therefore don’t enter.
I’d like these to be opened up where possible. I’m not looking to intrude on people’s gardens, but where the land rolls on for miles it should be open for people to use as long as no damage is caused.
Norway has a good system and if you follow this link it explains how it works: www.environment.no/Topics/Outdoor-recreation/Right-of-access-/
It’s based on respect for the land and owners. We have a beautiful country and I’m sure we could open it up and keep it that way.
It has been almost a year since the Secretary of State put on hold proposals to sell England’s Forestry Estate. An independent panel was set up to look at the future of all forests in England and I’m worried that people think the battle has been won and our woodland walks are safe for future generations.
The panel is busy gathering information for its final report in the spring. I welcome its initial recommendation that the forests currently owned by the Forestry Commission should remain publicly owned, with a high level of public access.
However, Forestry Commission land only accounts for 18 per cent of English woodlands and I think this is a golden opportunity for the panel to look at the other 82 per ecnt and put public access at the heart of forestry policy in England.