Britain’s oldest conservation body, the Open Spaces Society, presents an open letter to the Prime Minister asking her to fight for our path network
When Prime Minister Theresa May returns from her recent hiking holiday in the Alps she’ll no doubt have a big pile of letters to work through. Among them will be a letter from the Open Spaces Society (OSS).
The letter, which has been shared to us at The Great Outdoors, expresses the Society’s delight that the Prime Minister enjoys walking but urges her to look into the state of public paths in England and Wales.
“We were delighted to see the pictures of you and your husband on your walking holiday in Switzerland,” writes Kate Askbrook, General Secretary of the OSS in her open letter. “I know that your walking is not confined to holiday trips to Switzerland but has included Snowdon and no doubt other places where your explorations have not received publicity… however, walkers riders and cyclists on country paths in England and Wales face problems which I feel you should know about.”
The letter asks for the Prime Minister to address a number of the Society’s concerns, including the decline of funding for the highway authorities who maintain the UK’s paths and recent plans for industrial development within some protected landscapes – making particular reference to the potash mine in the North York Moors and wind turbines in the Lake District.
Ashbrook also highlights her concern over the “limited opportunities for the public to restore wrongly omitted land as common” arguing that legislation currently favours the landowner.
She concludes by inviting the Prime Minister for a walk in her Thames Valley constituency to present of the issues and to “visit access land which the OSS helped to win close to Chequers.”