FARMERS and landowners in parts of Wharfedale and Craven are being warned that they only have until February 18 to lodge appeals against draft maps being drawn up under the new "right to roam" legislation.
This is the expiry date for appeals in Area Two of the Countryside Agency's consultation process to produce legally defined areas of public access, which includes the parts of Craven outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the rural areas in Wharfedale and Airedale in the Bradford metropolitan district, and most of West Yorkshire.
"There is still a lot of uncertainty about what is meant by 'open country' and other aspects of the mapping," says Country Land and Business Association regional director Dorothy Fairburn.
"But one thing is absolutely certain: this is the last chance landowners will get before the right of public access to their land is imposed by Government.
"Expert advice is available and we are also urging our members to realise that around 10 per cent of the draft map for this areas was changed: some land was added and some taken away, so it's essential to check the provisional map before it's too late."
It is expected to be at least another year before the final conclusive maps are published, depending on the number of appeals.