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FUW concerned over proposed changes to access legislation

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging farmers to be aware of the implications of some of the proposals currently under discussion as part of a review of access legislation in Wales.

Gavin Williams

Gavin Williams

At a recent meeting of the union’s grand council delegates were informed that culture and sport minister John Griffiths has instigated a review of all legislation covering access and outdoor recreation in Wales.

The review is aimed at simplifying and modernising current legislation to provide clarity and certainty over where people can go and what they can do.

While the FUW would support the rationalisation of the Public Rights of Ways system to ensure that resources can be utilised more effectively in developing circular or linked networks, it is concerned at the implications for livestock farming if there is a presumed right of access to land, particularly alongside inland waterways .

“The proposals under discussion could have huge implications for farmers and landowners, particularly for the future of cattle farming,” said FUW land use and parliamentary committee chairman Gavin Williams, of Holyhead, Anglesey.

“Whilst the union recognises the importance of improving the recreational opportunities in the countryside for tourism and health, it believes this should be through discussion and partnership in those areas with a real demand, rather than creating a statutory approach which could severely impact on the business and management decisions of farmers.

“The union would encourage farmers and landowners to get involved with the early discussions of the Green Paper by contacting their FUW county offices or Welsh Government. directly, so that their views can be included as early as possible in the pre-consultation discussions,” added Mr Williams

The pre-consultation phase will last until October and will be followed by a Welsh Government Green Paper consultation during December.

 

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