Outdoor enthusiasts speak out over Public Bodies Bill2 min read

Do you know someone who would appreciate a present that will help protect the future of accessible green spaces for all?

Twelve organisations, representing a broad range of people who care about and enjoy the great outdoors, have today (4 February) issued a statement expressing their concerns about the Public Bodies Bill, currently in the House of Lords.

The statement draws attention to changes proposed to the Forestry Commission and the National Park Authorities which own and manage land with a wide range of public benefits. The groups highlight their concerns that the bodies’ current commitments to contribute to the landscape and its biodiversity, and provide good-quality public access opportunities – on foot, horseback and bike – may be undermined.

The result could be that land which is currently enjoyed by the public is appropriated for some other purpose, or that the quality of its natural features and public access diminishes or is not secured.

These organisations are committed to working together to combat the challenges posed by this Bill.

Public Bodies Bill

We oppose those elements of the Public Bodies Bill which give government wide-ranging and unfettered powers to alter the nature and functions of bodies which hold land for the public benefit. In particular, we are concerned that the Bill allows ministers to alter the National Park Authorities and the Forestry Commission, both of which own and manage land with a wide range of public benefits and who have, as part of their statutory purposes, a commitment to contribute to the landscape and its biodiversity, and provide good-quality public access opportunities, on foot, horseback and bike.

The result could be that land which is currently enjoyed by the public is appropriated for some other purpose, or that the quality of its natural features and public access diminishes or is not secured.

The British Horse Society
British Mountaineering Council
Campaign for National Parks
Disabled Ramblers
Long Distance Walkers Association
National Federation of Bridleway Associations
Open Spaces Society
Ramblers
South Pennine Packhorse Trails Trust
Sport and Recreation Alliance
Trails Trust
Woodland Trust

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