Ramblers Cymru statement on statutory action to close footpaths and sites

Footpath closures from Welsh Government due to Coronavirus

The Welsh Government has brought in emergency regulations to require local authorities, National Park authorities, National Resources Wales and the National Trust to close certain public footpaths and open access land.   

By midday on the 25 March 2020 sites and footpaths that are believed to present a risk of large numbers people gathering together, coming in close proximity to each other and areas that pose a high risk to the spread of the Coronavirus infection, must be closed.  

All closed sites and footpaths must be listed on the Authorities’ websites. 

Ramblers Cymru appreciate the unprecedented nature of the current crisis, and the need for strong measures to tackle the spread of this virus, and therefore ask that walkers respect the closures announced today.  

However, we are also very aware that for local people, these closures represent a huge loss of walking opportunities close to home, and will make it more difficult for some people to take their usual daily exercise that is so important to mental and physical health. The speed at which these emergency powers have been brought in and deployed has not allowed for community consultation, so we urge authorities to be mindful of the impact these closures will have on local people. There is a danger that certain closures result in more people seeking to exercise on fewer paths and green spaces, making social distancing more difficult to achieve.

We therefore ask Welsh Government to make sure that actions being taken are proportionate, time limited and kept under review. Ramblers Cymru will continue to encourage walkers to access the outdoors in ways which are safe and respectful to others.  

We are all in this together and need to take care of each other.

For the latest advice from the Ramblers visit: www.ramblers.org.uk/coronavirus