Polling carried out for the Countryside Alliance shows that 52% of people asked feel there is “about the right amount” of access land in Wales and a further 5% thought that there is too much.
Last summer, the Labour-run Welsh government launched a consultation on increasing access to the outdoors for responsible recreation. The results of the consultation have not yet been released.
The issue of greater access will be discussed in the Countryside Alliance’s fringe event tomorrow (4 March) at the Plaid Cymru party conference.
Director for the Countryside Alliance in Wales, Rachel Evans, said: “Our landscape has been shaped by man over many centuries and our countryside and wildlife need on-going management. The countryside underpins our tourism sector, is a place of recreation, a larder and, as importantly, a place of work.
“I foresee pressure on landowners in the next Government to provide more land and water for outdoor recreation but is there really a need? Our polling shows that 53% of urban dwellers feel enough access land is already available.
“Doubtlessly there needs to be an improvement in the access opportunities available – better, safer horse riding routes for example and more safe circular walks. There is also a need to simplify the extinguishing or moving of footpaths paths which is a very expensive and lengthy process. There is much that can be done with the existing provisions – this is what we must concentrate on.
“We call for a sensible approach to improving access to land and water as well as proper engagement by Government and its agencies with those engaged with management of the countryside. We need sound evidence-based policy and greater engagement with the outdoors through education – for all ages.
- YouGov polled 1,102 Welsh adults, of which 205 were living in a rural area, and the polling was conducted between 1-5 February 2016. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Welsh adults (aged 18+). The full results can be found here –
- Please find the Countryside Alliance Manifesto for Wales here – http://www.countryside-alliance.org/ca-flatcap/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/CA-Welsh-Manifesto_2016_English.pdf