The Ramblers has written to the Home Office, Ministry of Justice and Defra to express grave concerns about the government’s proposals to change trespass rules. This would be a major change in the law - and could have a significant impact on people’s ability to access the countryside.
The Ramblers previously raised alarm about the proposals in response to a Conservative Party manifesto commitment to ‘criminalise intentional trespass’ and subsequent Home Office consultation on police powers. The latest letter comes ahead of the publication of the Police Powers and Protections Bill and is written together with a range of other organisations - including CPRE, the countryside charity, the Open Spaces Society, British Mountaineering Council, Friends of the Earth, British Canoeing and Cycling UK.
Gemma Cantelo, head of policy and advocacy at the Ramblers, said:
“Government’s priority should be to make it easier for people to get outside, enjoy the benefits of walking and connect to the natural environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how critical this is our physical and mental health.”