Do you know someone who would appreciate a present that will help protect the future of accessible green spaces for all?
We have appointed two new representatives in Cornwall: Jacqueline Merrick for Kerrier and Lucy Wilson for North Cornwall.
As local correspondents, Jacqueline and Lucy will be the society’s eyes and ears, keeping a close watch on paths, commons, greens and open spaces in their areas and intervening as necessary.
Among other activities, they will object to proposed changes to public paths where they are against the public interest, they will put in reports to the council about blocked paths, and they will help to research unrecorded historic routes which should be shown on Cornwall’s definitive map.
Jacqueline is a mother, grandmother, semi-retired organic farmer, educational conservation field ecologist, wildlife guide, environmental campaigner, keen cyclist, rider and dog walker. She grew up in central London, but has lived and farmed in West Cornwall for over 30 years. She is a member of Cornwall Council’s Countryside Access Forum and a green councillor for Camborne.
Lucy is a walker and rider who has been active with the British Horse Society and has taken the council to task for failure to reopen public paths. She has served legal notices to require it to act on blocked paths and has spoken at council meetings.
Jacqueline is passionate about our need to preserve and enhance the natural environment. She says: ‘It is evident to me that regular access to natural open spaces is an essential element of human physical, emotional and mental well-being. For me access to the countryside reawakens one’s primaeval sense of wonder for the natural world’.
Says Lucy: ‘Our public paths and spaces are hugely important to us, for our children and generations to come. They enable us to walk and ride safely away from roads and give us access to our beautiful countryside. The benefits these spaces bring us, for sport, family recreation and safe, sustainable transport are invaluable. I want to help protect them, keep them open and accessible and put them back on the map where they’ve been lost.’
Adds Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘Cornwall is an important part of the country for us, it has a wonderful network of public paths but the cash-strapped council struggles to get them open and in good order.
We have a high regard for the council’s staff but they need more resources, and we can help by lobbying councillors and demonstrating the value of public paths and open spaces to the population.
‘In a county which relies on income from tourism it is vital that the paths and spaces are open and welcoming.’