The UK’s withdrawal from the EU means that a replacement to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) needs to be developed - the replacement will be published this year (2018) in the form of the Agriculture Bill. Agricultural land makes up 70% of the UK, so the new policy will have a significant impact on the quality of our environment, our ability to access the countryside and the state of our path network.
In the 2017 Queen’s Speech, the government announced its intention to publish an Agriculture Bill which will seek to provide stability to farmers and protect the natural environment for future generations. An overarching principle which is shaping future policy, and which the Ramblers wholeheartedly support, is the concept of public payment for public access.
In advance of the Agriculture Bill, the government has published its command paper, Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit. This is a critical milestone in the development of future policy as it will set the direction of the key parts of the new Agriculture Bill.
The Ramblers recognises that agricultural production is one of the most important activities taking place in the countryside, and that some public investment will be required to support the industry when the UK leaves the EU. This investment must however deliver benefits for wider society, including improved maintenance of existing paths and enhancements to the network.
Improved maintenance of existing paths:
Enhancements to the path network:
We believe these principles will help ensure that our precious path network is better maintained, with farmers encouraged to fulfil their legal responsibilities and rewarded for improvements they make for walkers. Our vision will also help ensure that the public reconnect with nature and better understand the agriculture industry and the vital work undertaken by farmers.
Write to your MP and join us in calling for an Agriculture Bill that protects and enhances public rights of way.
From walkers to photographers to micro adventurers, find out why people want to keep paths open, and let us know why you want to protect paths.