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Public rights of way a ‘burden’ to farmers

The ability to record, create, divert or close a public right of way should be made ‘far easier’ and ‘less expensive’ for farmers, NFU Cymru said. 


Lauren   Dean

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Lauren   Dean
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Public rights of way a ‘burden’ to farmers

It came in response to a parliamentary written statement by the cabinet secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, on improving opportunities to access the outdoors for recreation.

 

The statement said the law should reflect ‘current recreational needs’ and be ‘more flexible to changes in demand and participation’.

 

 

But NFU Cymru said any changes to access legislation should not place any additional cost, burden or liability on farmers despite the likelihood it would ‘inevitably impact disproportionately’ on the farming community.

 

Rural affairs board chair, Hedd Pugh, said the current system of access legislation in Wales fails to take into account modern day farming.

 

He said: “NFU Cymru is clear that reforms to access legislation in Wales should focus on the modernisation of the public rights of way network.

 

Liability

“The written statement refers to achieving consistency in the opportunities available for participation in different activities.

 

“This is concerning as any broadening of the range of activity through higher access rights will inevitably mean increased risks and impacts, with the burden and liability falling on farmers.”

 

Mr Pugh urged the government not to seek towards providing greater amounts of public access.


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