HC Deb 26 October 1999 vol 336 c795W
Mr. Fearn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to provide for greater rights of public access to(a) coastal land, (b) privately-owned woodland and (c) riverbanks. [95434]

Mr. Mullin

In March this year, the Government announced plans to introduce a new statutory right of access on foot to specified categories of open countryside—mountain, moor, heath, down and registered common land. As part of its announcement, the Government also asked the Countryside Agency, together with the Countryside Council for Wales and the Forestry Commission, to report on the case for extending public access to other types of open countryside, such as coast, woodland and riverside. We look forward to receiving their formal report and advice very shortly (I am aware that the Countryside Agency has already set out its recommendations on its website). We will wish to consider their views carefully before deciding how best to proceed.