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Trespass and access to land

Comment 1st July 2010

It is wrong for landowners and farmers to be able to fence off vast swathes of the countryside.  People should be able to walk on any piece of land provided they do not:

1. Go within a certain distance of a residence (e.g. 400 metres).  This would protect gardens and the privacy of people's homes.

2. Cause any damage.  For example, if there are crops planted in a field people should walk around the edge rather than through the middle.

3. Drop litter, cause excessive noise or in any other way affect the quality of the land.

Why does this matter?

These rights exist in many others countries, such as Finland, Norway and Sweden, and there is a much greater right of access in Scotland than in England and Wales.

As well as people's ethical rights to be able to use land whatever their wealth or station, it would also have the effect of encouraging exercise and decreasing the crowding of National Parks.

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