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Labor Party Promises to Introduce Scottish-Style Law on the Right of Movement in England | Access to the green zone



The Labor Party has promised to introduce a Scottish-style right-of-travel law in England if it wins the next general election, with access to green space enshrined in the law.

Shadow Environment Minister Alex Sobel made the announcement during a debate hosted by Greens MP Caroline Lucas, who is campaigning for greater access to the countryside.

Only 8% of England has the right to roam, which includes coastal paths, mountains and moorlands. Some private landowners such as national trusts and some farmers open their lands and paths to the people and this is not included in the 8% figure.

In Scotland, there is a right to walk in the countryside without leaving footprints, with some exceptions, such as not trampling on the land where crops are grown. Under a Labor government, the people in England will be given the same rights.

The campaign for the right to roam is gaining momentum: last summer, thousands of people took part in massive incursions demanding more access to the countryside.

Sobel said: “Labor’s approach, as in Scotland, will be that Labor’s right to move will open access to high quality green and blue spaces in the rest of Britain. We will replace the default exclusion with the default access.

“Research shows that people with a stronger connection to nature are more likely to behave positively towards the environment. It’s very simple: the more people interact with nature, the more chances they have to protect it.”

He pointed out that access to nature in England is unfairly distributed: people from ethnic minorities and those living in less affluent areas are less likely to have available green space nearby.

“Work will create a future where nature thrives, people have a deeper connection to the environment and people have equal access to the benefits of green space,” added the MP for Leeds North West.

Jim McMahon, the shadow secretary for the environment, has previously said that in government he will expand the right to travel, but did not say there would be a Scottish-style system.

He said in January: “There are huge parts of England and Wales that are still off limits when it comes to the right of access, be it woods, cliffs or rivers, where the rights we grant in the open countryside don’t apply. then mirrored in those places. This needs to be changed.”

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