An Early Day Motion (EDM) over improving the public’s rights to roam has been tabled to mark the 90th anniversary of the mass trespass on Kinder Scout.
The EDM calls for the government to bring forward legislation to extend the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000) to include rivers, woods and Green Belt land.
It was tabled by the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavillion, and has so far attracted the signatures of 22 MPs.
The motion marks the 90th Anniversary of the mass trespass on Kinder Scout. On 24 April, 1932, about 400 people met on the moorland plateau, the highest point of the Peak District, to protest over the lack of access to the area.
Five men were jailed following the action, including its leader Benny Rothman. The mass trespass was a landmark moment that began to pave the way for change. This included the establishment of the National Parks in 1949, and the development of the Pennine Way.
It wasn’t until the year 2000 when the Labour Government brought in the Countryside & Rights of Way Act, creating areas of open access land on many of our upland, moors and mountains. Disappointingly for paddlers and swimmers, the CRoW Act failed to include access on inland waters.
Currently, less than 4% of rivers across England and Wales have a statutory (or clear) right of access. Thousands of people are still deprived of the chance to explore these precious blue spaces. There is a concern that people from ethnic minorities or those with low incomes are less likely to live near green space.
The Clear Access, Clear Waters campaign continues to push for that to change because more than ever, we all need access to our natural spaces, for health, fitness and to help protect our environment.
How can you help?
Early Day Motions rarely get debated in Parliament, but they do offer a chance to garner support from Members of Parliament on particular issues. It is quick and easy to write to your MP and ask them to sign the EDM.
For an example letter template, click here.
To search for your MP and also sign our petition, click here.