A green Brexit must include more opportunities for public access

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We have welcomed the pledge from the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, to deliver a green Brexit (speech, ‘The Unfrozen Moment: delivering a green Brexit’, 21 July), but have called for this to include support for greater public access to the countryside.

Michael Gove speech did not mention recreation or public access in his speech but, in response to a question from Judy Ling Wong of the Black Environment Network, he said that as education secretary he had worked to make it easier for schoolchildren to visit and enjoy where our food comes from and that we can embed a love of nature in the way in which we plan and design new buildings and landscape.

Well-maintained path at Turville, Bucks.

Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘While these are encouraging words, we urge the Environment Secretary to go further and ensure that, post-Brexit, payments to land managers include the requirement to provide greater public access to land—not just for schoolchildren but for everyone.

‘The Environment Secretary agrees that the £3 billion which is currently paid to farmers and land managers should be directed to providing public goods. We say that must include improvements to public paths and creation of new ones, and dedication of land for public access and enjoyment.

‘We are sorry that Mr Gove did not volunteer this in his speech but look forward to discussing with him how this can be achieved, for the benefit of all.’

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