Monthly Archives: February 2013

Criminalising trespass – a new threat

In 2005, when the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill was in the House of Lords, Lord Haworth won an important concession. The Bill would create ‘designated sites’ where trespass, normally a civil offence, would become a criminal offence. Alan Haworth won … Continue reading

Posted in Access, common land, Open country, open spaces, Open Spaces Society, Ramblers, town and village greens, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ancient rights thrown out of the window

First the right to lawful sports and pastimes, next the right to light. Where will the abolition of our ancient rights end? Last Monday (18 February) the Law Commission, with ministers’ backing, began to consult about plans to axe people’s ancient … Continue reading

Posted in Access, Growth and Infrastructure Bill, town and village greens | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

The peers’ entrance

Getting into parliament by the peers’ entrance is so much more civilised than St Stephen’s, the main public-entrance to both houses of parliament. Whereas at St Stephen’s you may have to queue for ages on a long ramp, outside in the … Continue reading

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Ten years on – and there are many mini-Hoogstratens

Ten years ago today, on 10 February 2003, Framfield footpath 9 in East Sussex was freed after 13 years of illegal obstruction.  It had been blocked by Rarebargain, a company associated with property tycoon Nicholas van Hoogstraten who had condemned ramblers … Continue reading

Posted in Access, Obstructed path, Public paths, Ramblers | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

The grand old access man—Dick Hutchins

I have in my possession a well-thumbed, faded-green volume, to which I have referred many times. It is a learned commentary on the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 by R N Hutchins (Butterworths, 1950) and a foreword … Continue reading

Posted in Access, National parks, National trail, Obituary, Open country, Open Spaces Society, Public paths, Ramblers, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Singing for springtime

It is many years since I last wandered over the forgotten meadows at Chimney, south of Aston in Oxfordshire.  Then there was the one footpath, over Shifford Lock Cut and down to the Thames, guarded by a derelict pill-box.   Last week … Continue reading

Posted in Birds, Natural history | Tagged | 1 Comment

Cramber Tor condemned – for 40 years

I shall be 98 when the Dartmoor National Park Authority next considers the future of military training on Cramber Tor. That is the effect of the park authority’s surprising decision on 1 February.  The members did not grant permanent permission, they … Continue reading

Posted in Access, Dartmoor, National parks, Open country | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment