In a disappointing development for walkers in Wales, the Welsh Government has revealed watered down plans for a Green paper on Access and Recreation. Originally announced last year, the Review of access legislation had been anticipated as the beginning of an exciting journey towards improved access and the opening up of more of the Welsh countryside for exploration. However the emergence of conflicting views on access and subsequent delays have meant that a less contentious Green Paper will focus on changes Rights of Way legislation and guidance, and voluntary access to water agreements.
The announcement did give positive recognition to the importance of Rights of Way to our local communities, as well as the announcement of new capital funding for rights of way improvement plans. These are welcome but Ramblers Cymru have written to the Minister responsible, John Griffiths, to express our frustration at this missed opportunity to deliver bold, visionary change.We are concerned that some of the suggested changes may even reduce the quality of access and so fall well short of delivering our desire to make Wales the best country in the world for walkers.
Ramblers Cymru have restated our willingness to work with Government to share the expert knowledge and advice we and our members can offer to help make any future changes to legislation as positive as possible.
We will share details of the Green Paper when it is published later this year and continue with our campaign to make Wales the best place in the world for walkers. You can sign up to this campaign now or support us on twitter #walkingwales.