Welsh landowners urged to check revised maps

Landowners in Wales are being urged to scrutinise a new countryside map that reveals areas where walkers could have right of access for the first time.

Natural Resources Wales unveiled its reworked map of open country and registered common land in Wales on Wednesday (7 August).

The map was first created 10 years ago but it has now been reviewed for the first time and includes new access areas, although there is little change to the actual acreage involved.

At this stage the redrafted map is only provisional and the Farmers’ Union of Wales has advised farmers to check them carefully.

“It is extremely important that land managers check the draft maps to ensure that any changes that have taken place as a result of the recent review can be fully considered and appealed against if necessary,” said the union’s land use and parliamentary committee chairman Gavin Williams.

“Whilst the union has lobbied to ensure that landowners are kept informed of any potential changes, all farmers should check the draft maps on www.naturalresourceswales.gov.uk.”

Around 20% of the Welsh countryside, including mountains and moorland, is classified as open access land.

Richard Owen of Natural Resources Wales said the body had worked closely with a wide range of people and organisations to develop the provisional maps.

“We have already been in contact with the landowners that are likely to be affected by changes so that they are aware of the process and how they can engage with us if they have any queries,” he said.

“At this stage of the process only people with a legal interest, such as landowners, can appeal against what’s in the maps. They can do this by contacting the Planning Inspectorate at wales@pins.gsi.gov.uk.”

Appeals must be lodged before 7 November 2013.

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