09 March 1999
Ex-CLA man to head Countryside Agency
By FWi staff
THE new Countryside Agency, which will be primarily responsible for administering the right to roam, will be chaired by Ewen Cameron, the government announced yesterday (Monday).
Mr Cameron, a former chief executive of the Country Landowners Association, is a controversial choice because he has a record of opposition to a statutory right to roam.
Mr Cameron was subjected of a protest last weekend by ramblers, who claim that he has illegally blocked a footpath on his Somerset farm.
The ramblers have the support of more than 45 Labour MPs who have signed a Commons motion claiming Mr Cameron planted potatoes across the footpath.
But yesterday Mr Cameron attempted to make it clear that he fully supports the Governments right to roam proposals.
“Improving the quality and quantity of access to the countryside is of prime importance to raising the standards of life in this country,” he said.
“The Government have proposed a framework for improving access to open country that I wholeheartedly support.
“It incorporates clarity for the walker whilst ensuring that the land managers are able to continue with the normal operations of management.”
Mr Cameron said he believes that the governments package is a major step forward.
“I hope that all parties,including local authorities, will put their shoulders to the wheel in a concerted effort to make it work on the ground,” he said.