I find the issue of public access to land really difficult.

I'm not a landowner or manager so I have no land of my own to roam on.

So when I roam (and I roam a lot) it is on other people's land.

I'm fortunate to live in a small community where people who saw me would 1/8
Just say "That's just Matt he's harmless enough"

I am also very harmless. I don't get in the way of farming operations don't take my dogs near stock. Don't trample people's silage etc.

In the ultimate extreme I can also invoke my statuary right of access. But I never do 2/8
I gain immense happiness from roaming about and I hate the idea others would be denied it.

But I also recognise that this only works where there aren't too many people.

If this place was much bigger then access would start to have negative and disruptive effects 3/8
We see lots of examples of negative effects of public access on here. Litter, disturbance of wildlife, damage, sheep worrying etc

Some campaigners in England point to Scotland's right to roam and claim if works so well it should be extended.

I urge caution.

Open access 4/8
has had some seriously bad effects in parts of Scotland. The issues around Loch Lomond and near Aviemore are well known. But there are thousands of other places too. Locally Loch Doon and Loch Moan attract horrendously irresponsible users. To the extent I wont 5/8
take my kids or dogs to Loch Doon because of the broken glass.

Loch Moan is a quite remote loch on the Galloway Forest. Yet last autumn I picked 7 bags if rubbish off an area the size of a tennis court. Everything from toilet paper to tents. 6/8
Given the much larger pressures that would be inevitable around major English cities these problems would be hugely magnified.

I don't know how we give people the fulfillment of roaming the land which I enjoy so much, yet at the same time protect 7/8
the environment and people's livelihoods. But I can totally understand why people want access and it feels hypocritical to say they should be denied something I value very highly. Yet I see the real problems it can cause.

Solution - dunno. 8/8
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