HL Deb 01 July 1999 vol 603 c53WA
Lord Hardy of Wath

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What arrangements will be made to ensure that the right to roam does not enable children to gain access to swim in lakes, ponds and rivers without supervision; and whether such activity will involve private owners in bearing public liability. [HL3160]

Lord Whitty

The Government's proposed new statutory right of access will apply only to open countryside and be limited to access on foot. The statutory right will not alter the primary responsibility of parents and others for the safety of children in their care. The right will be subject to restrictions, such as those set out in Schedule II to the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act 1949. Those restrictions currently prohibit swimming on access land where an authorised notice has been exhibited to that effect. We will be looking at how these restrictions might be updated to reflect present day requirements. We are considering questions of occupiers' liability as part of our package of measures to improve access to the countryside.