Countryside access – a health benefit, or a revenue stream?
parkrun a regular free run is being targeted for charges in Little Stoke, Bristol.
British cycling is advocating a change in the law in Wales to encourage more responsible cycling in the countryside
Several discussions I have had suggest that Natural Resources for Wales (NRW) are looking at charging structures available to them for recreation that isn’t happening by Public Right. This would potentially include mountain biking that is there by permission only.
Confirmation that there is a newly formed “Mynediad Permissions and Charges working group” is, at best, worrying.
It would be a travesty if NRW, who already seek to charge for any commercial use of the public estate (although perhaps not coherently) seek to effectively ‘tax’ those who are taking part in healthy and responsible recreation. The public estate welcomes massive socio economic benefit to rural areas of Wales – I am hopeful that there can be some innovative solutions, rather than another high profile PR discussion.
I’ve spent a good few years reconciling the Grant in Aid funding that NRW and its legacy bodies (Forestry Commission (Wales), Environment Agency Wales and Countryside Council for Wales) receive(d) with the opportunities they provide to certain (small or exclusive) sectors of society. I will welcome the opportunity to discuss this further.
See my Freedom of Information request and response beneath, and make your own mind. Make your own representation if you feel it necessary!