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Our manifesto for the 2017 Westminster election

This time, because the political parties are focused on Brexit, we have tailored our manifesto to secure the best deal for public access and enjoyment.

Public money for public access

Well-maintained path at Turville, Bucks.

The Open Spaces Society is seeking a pledge in each party’s manifesto that, in the new funding scheme for agriculture, public money is spent on public benefit.

This means providing improved public access, whether by paths or responsible freedom to roam. Public access supports local economies and improves people’s health and well-being.

Financial support should be available for landowners who give additional access or improvements to existing access, for example:
• new paths to link existing rights of way and enabling people to avoid busy roads
• additional rights for riders and cyclists
• new access-land
• new access points to existing access land
• wider paths,
• mown paths along field-edges.

The opportunities are considerable and should be taken in the post-Brexit world.

In addition, we need stronger enforcement so that when a landowner abuses the law on paths and access, the grant should be deducted and put into an access fund which can be used to create more access.