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Country News - 2003

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N.Yorks farmers urged to join access forums
Monday 27 January 2003

North Yorkshire farmers and landowners outside the two national parks are being urged to join the new local access forums being created by the county council.

Similar forums have already started work in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors national parks but the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) is concerned that farmers in the rest of the county should be represented.

The CLA has been a regular critic of the Government's "right to roam" legislation, which will open up millions of acres of open countryside to walkers and other visitors, but feels that by taking an active role in the forums, they can help achieve a happy compromise in the interests of everyone involved.

The county council is establishing a forum in its area outside the national parks to advise it and the Countryside Agency and is now looking for members.

" We think it's to everyone's benefit if farmers and landowners are well-represented," says Dorothy Fairburn, the CLA's regional director.

"Farmers are often depicted as vigorously opposed to the improvement of public access to the countryside, but the truth is that the vast majority would rather see action to make it easier for people to enjoy a walk, provided it's not at the farmer's expense. With years of on-the-ground experience they have a valuable contribution to make.

"We are encouraging members in the county to apply to join what we hope will be a constructive and consensual group truly representative of the rural economy and those on whom it depends."

Further information is available from North Yorkshire County Council, tel. 01609 778404.


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