Party conference season is underway in Wales and the Countryside Alliance has already hosted fringe events at the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Welsh Labour conferences on sustainable access to land and water. Assembly Members, candidates and stakeholders discussed whether more public access is needed in Wales or whether the Welsh Government should make better use of existing access arrangements.
In Cardiff, the Welsh Liberal Democrats Environment Spokesperson, William Powell AM, was joined by fellow Assembly Member Aled Roberts AM and Councillor Elizabeth Evans who is also standing as a candidate in the Assembly elections (all pictured left). As well as the fringe event, our Director in Wales, Rachel Evans obtained a firm commitment to oppose open access from the Welsh Liberal Democrats Leader, Kirsty Williams AM.
In Llandudno, the meeting at Welsh Labour (left) involved Assembly Member Jenny Rathbone AM, Welsh Access Officer at the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), Elfyn Jones and Councillor Alex Thomas who is also a prospective candidate in the Assembly elections.
Both events generated good discussion about the need to balance access to the countryside with the needs of those who have the task of managing and making a living from it. There was a particularly strong contribution from the angling community with many pointing out the potential dangers that open access of rivers would have on fishing.
The Countryside Alliance will also be at the Plaid Cymru and Welsh Conservatives party conferences next month