30 March 2000
Tories out for drunken ramblers

RAMBLERS who are drunk, fall asleep, walk at night or generally “annoy farmers” could be liable for a criminal conviction, under Conservatives plans.

These proposed restrictions on walkers were included in some of the 138 amendments designed to wreck the governments right-to-roam bill.

Under Tory plans, anyone who broke rules on ramblers behaviour would be subject to criminal law, rather than civil law, for the first time, reports The Independent.

The amendments are tabled by Tory environment spokesman Damian Green and James Paice, MP for Cambridgeshire South East.

They would also cover anyone who hang-glides over property, or swims in lakes and tarns.

The Bill, designed to open up 4 million acres of acres of countryside in England and Wales, faces this challenge on Thursday (30 March) when it begins its committee stage in the House of Commons.