We oppose fencing on Bowland common

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We have objected to an application from the Yorkshire Burnmoor Graziers to erect fencing on common land, alongside Mewith Lane near Bentham in North Yorkshire. The common is within the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


The society objects because the fence will enclose the lane which currently crosses open country. The fence will give a closed-in feeling and will be an eyesore. The site offers fine views of at least two of the Three Peaks—Ingleborough and Peny-y-Ghent.

The fence will destroy the open feeling of this landscape, cutting off a smaller area to the north of the lane from the rest of the common. People have the right to walk over the whole area, and the proposed stiles in the fence provide inadequate access.

As this is within the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, landscape considerations are of paramount importance.

We understand that the fencing is being funded by public money, under the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, and we are dismayed that the applicants have not consulted our society before charging ahead with the application. The Planning Inspectorate, to whom the application has been made, advises applicants to consult interested parties before submitting an application for works on a common.

We cannot fathom why the applicants have not instead applied to put a cattle-grid across Mewith Lane rather than try to fence it in. We hope the application will be rejected so that then we can discuss alternative solutions.

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