Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, vice-president and chair of the Ramblers expresses her own views in her personal blog.
This was written in 2013, eight years ago and the same year as a claim was registered through my own garden. At that time, of course I knew nothing at all about PROW and how spurious claims could affect your life for an indefinite number of years.
The comment is still there and I doubt Ms Ashbrook has changed her opinion one iota, although it would be nice to think that she has since tried to at least understand the impact on people’s lives and livelihood and even realised that this injustice has absolutely nothing to do with people’s access to, and right, to enjoy the countryside.
There is now even more need for such people to continue to hear “the sort of stuff “ we have been asking those in positions of power to listen to for yet another decade.
“Fly in the ointment
There is a fly in the ointment: a small group of people facetiously calling themselves the Alternative Stakeholder Working Group and an allied groupuscule, the Intrusive Footpaths Campaign. The latter complains that the current rights-of-way legislation is ‘outdated’ and ‘does not recognise the rights of individuals living in rural areas and provides no protection for their family home’. They want paths directed away from family homes and farmyards—the sort of stuff we’ve been hearing from farmers and landowners for decades (and of course all of which is possible now, under the current legislation).”
It should be of major concern that the voice of a whole section of the general public who’s lives and homes are affected in such an important Government debate is written off as “ the sort of stuff we’ve been hearing from farmers and landowners for decades“
It would seem that it is a very good thing that these voices are finally being heard.
The mistaken belief that it is now a simple procedure for Public Rights of Way to be diverted from family homes and farmyards is not true.
It is for the people who try to accomplish this aim to know if current legislation is working and it blatantly is not.
There cannot be many people who would disagree that Public Rights of Way should not be intrusive or dangerous.