22 November 2001
Right to roam as early as 2003?

By FWi staff

MINISTERS could decide within weeks if walkers will have the right to roam on access land as each area is mapped rather than in one go in 2005.

Rural affairs minister Alun Michael said the Countryside and Rights of Way Act allows government to choose for the right to start at different times in different areas.

Open country and registered common land in the south east and north west of England, the first areas mapped, could be open to ramblers as soon as 2003.

In answer to a parliamentary question, he said: I am considering the option of regional commencement, and hope to make an announcement before the end of the year.