There is a need for good public footpath and bridleway routes, so more rambling and horseriding can take place away from the highways. The latest consultation from the government, Health and Harmony, from DEFRA (Cm 9577) invites ideas on how a new farming policy can include incentives to persuade landowners to allow more access and completion of green routes over their land. This could be a good option for Wokingham, where the Council is also working on greenway issues. Anyone interested in these matters should respond to the government consultation.

1 Comment

  1. Norman
    March 30, 2018

    Sounds good in principle, but are there not sufficient foot and bridle paths already? Sadly, there’s a mismatch between some members of the public and the vital concerns of running a farm business. During Foot and Mouth, some people deliberately walked their dogs across land under Disease Restriction notices – which was deeply upsetting to besieged farmers trying to keep out the virus from their livestock. Even in ‘peacetime’, there are problems from parasitic diseases carried by dogs especially when not kept on the lead (e.g. Neospora caninum, a protozoan that causes abortion in cattle) – not to mention sheep and cattle-worrying, and even theft. The farmer has due diligence liabilities, too, to ensure n0 one is injured by cattle disturbed by unruly dogs. There will be conflicts also, even on arable land. It’s a delicate balance, to say the least!

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