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Stackyard News Jan 06
       

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Upgrade Existing Coastal Access
13/01/06

The best way to improve access to the coastline of Wales is to upgrade the existing extensive facilities, according to CLA Wales. The organisation which represents rural businesses in Wales says landowners and land managers are already committed to delivering the required 'maximum possible benefits'.

welsh coastline
South Wales policy advisor Sarah Andrews added that the Ramblers Association's request to the National Assembly for Wales to extend CROW legislation to include access to a continuous length of coastline right around Wales was impractical. The Assembly is committed to improving access to the coasts of Wales by 2008/2009, but the right to roam contained in CROW legislation would not produce the 'round Wales route' the Ramblers sought.

"CROW allows a number of exceptions when it comes to access", she added. "People aren't allowed to walk on improved land for example and then there is developed land such as golf courses, caravan parks, and residential and other land uses.

"We think it would be better to address issues such as the means people have of getting to the coast, and improving facilities when they get there. Is there a car park, are there waymarked routes? We would be much better off spending limited resources on finding individual solutions to local problems and local needs".

Mrs Andrews added that landowners weren't convinced that there was a widespread demand for any more coastal access. There was already satisfaction with the coastal footpaths and existing voluntary arrangements.

It seemed unnecessary to burden the taxpayer with another expense for something for which there was no established need. There seemed to be few benefits since statistics showed that very few people ever walked more than a short distance from the car.

More access would be likely to place a huge burden on the public purse and would cause real headaches for landowners and land managers. There were also major cost and other implications with erosion, maintenance, and public liability.

CLA Wales is currently delivering its views to the Countryside Council for Wales which is due to report to the Welsh Assembly Government in the Spring.

link Better is More at the Coast
Public Goods From Private Land - Why Nature Needs Farming

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CLA Wales
CLA Wales