There have been many milestones in the journey to increase access and the right to roam since this seminal moment; the Kinder Mass Trespass, the creation of National Parks, the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, the Land Reform (Scotland) Act, the Marine and Coastal Access Act, the opening of the Wales Coast Path, all of which have helped to increase the places people can walk.
But are you confident in knowing where you can and can’t walk and aware of your rights and responsibilities?
In England and Wales we have a world renowned network of footpaths which everyone has the right to walk on. These paths are known as “public rights of way”. We also have the right, in certain places, to walk off these paths, across privately owned land. This is known as “open access”. Open access gives you the chance to walk freely, explore wild, open landscapes and find your own way.
The England Coast Path, due to be completed in 2020, is giving us a right of access to many areas between the path and the sea. This area is known as the coastal margin and allows people to explore dunes, cliff slopes and beaches, right up to the water’s edge.
The very nature of walking is simple, putting one foot in front of the other. But knowing where you can and can’t walk, and what you can and can’t do, can sometimes be confusing.