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Mass trespass planned for Dartmoor

Walkers need to go over private land to get to parts of Dartmoor (image courtesy:Terry Montague/Unsplash

Right to Roam want sensible access to land

Campaigners for the right to roam are to hold a mass protest on Dartmoor this weekend.

They claim England’s partial right to roam is ridiculous and want access rights to match the situation in Scotland.

Vixen Tor has been chosen for what organisers hope to be the largest mass trespass in a generation, starting at a wall separating open-access and private land.

Right now large parts of the countryside that can be freely roamed upon can only be accessed by trespassing across private land.

Although the Countryside and Rights of Way Act in 2000 gave people a right to roam over certain landscape types, such as mountains, moorland, heathland, downland and commons.

However, campaign group Right to Roam argues that this “access land” which covers about eight per cent of England – is often surrounded by farmed fields and other privately owned landscapes, creating inaccessible “islands” of free-to-roam land.

In Scotland, people have a “right of responsible access” to the countryside, with some exceptions.

Lewis Winks, a Right to Roam campaigner, said: “Often people don’t know where they have a right to go in the countryside. It’s ridiculous that the public have to trespass to reach these fragments of land where they have a legal right to roam – all because of our piecemeal approach to access in this country.”

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