12 November 2001
Concern at ‘right-to-roam’ map errors

By FWi staff

ENCLOSED areas where farmers gather sheep have been included in draft maps of areas where ramblers would have the right to roam.

Maps detailing areas under the governments plan to give free access to most mountains, moorland and commons in England were published on Monday (12 November).

Drafts have been published on the Countryside Agency website.

But John Lees, secretary of the Peak Park Moorland Owners and Tenants Association, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that there were mistakes in the maps.

“There are all sorts of areas which are included in open countryside which in fact are enclosed land and used by farmers when they are gathering their sheep, he said.

Mr Lees added that the three-month consultation period was too short, and pointed out that farmers without Internet access would find difficulties gaining access to the maps.

Bob Roberts, the Countryside Agencys head of access policy, admitted there were likely to be some teething problems with the maps.

“We need people to tell us where we have made mistakes – if weve made mistakes well go back and amend the maps, he said.

“These areas arent being opened up at the moment; its a consultation.”

A roadshow and displays at libraries and local authority offices will also be used to publicise the maps during the consultation period.