Outdoor recreational access
Many national governing bodies rely on the outdoor and natural environment for their sport or recreation. The Alliance’s ‘Access Working Group’ works to improve sustainable access to land, water and air for sport and recreational use in the context of user groups sharing space and respecting the needs of land managers.
Greater and secure access to land, water and air can increase the opportunities for members and the public to enjoy and plan their activities.
Improved access is best achieved through statutory provisions but good opportunities also exist to increase opportunities by working cooperatively with landowners.
- There has been a steady increase in public access rights to the outdoors since World War II.
- The public benefits are widely recognised and personal responsibility is becoming established.
- The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, Scottish Land Reform Act 2003 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 are modern, flexible examples of access legislation.
- The Alliance is working with the Cabinet Office to increase access opportunities by reducing the risk of landowner liability.
- The Alliance is also working with the Forestry Commission to improve access for sport and recreation.
- DEFRA is reviewing the mapping process for public rights of way.
- Implementation of coastal access has stalled.
- Navigation access on inland water is severely limited and could be a large growth area.
- DEFRA is due to make an announcement on access legislation in spring 2013.
- We urge Parliamentarians to push Government to implement the recommendations of Stepping Forward (2010) in full.
- The Alliance’s Access Working Group will remain vigilant of changes.
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