NEW data into legal access for the public into England’s countryside has revealed that parts of Teignbridge have some of the best access rights in the country.
However, the data shows that people have no right to roam at all in 92 constituencies.
The data, released by the pressure group Right to Roam, analysed each and every constituency across England to find out how many hectares of land could be legally accessed. The results varied immensely.
Mel Stride’s Central Devon constituency was ranked 17 of 534, with over 12,000 hectares of land open to the public. The only Devon constituency to beat this was Torridge and West Devon; the tenth most accessible with over 30,000 hectares.
The Newton Abbot constituency placed 148, with just 356 hectares of accessible land. However, the Newton Abbot constituency is considerably smaller than Central Devon.
Guy Shrubsole, a campaigner based in Devon and the mastermind behind the data, said: ‘The public’s right to access nature in England is hugely unequal. Not only does our right to roam cover just 8% of the country, much of this is remote from where most people live; there are 92 constituencies in England with no right to roam at all.
‘The best way to solve this is for England to follow Scotland’s lead, and legislate for a new right of responsible access covering the majority of land and water – with sensible exceptions like private gardens and land on which crops are growing, and seasonal restrictions for sensitive nature sites.
‘A new Right to Roam Act for England should be backed by a fresh outdoor access code outlining the responsibilities of both public and landowners. It’s worked in Scotland for the past 20 years and we hope all political parties will now support doing this in England.'