UK Farmers say “Get on my land” to cyclists

Cycling UK wants more opportunities for the next generation to enjoy the countryside
Young children out on a bike ride
Young children out on a bike ride

UK Farmers say “Get on my land” to cyclists

Cycling UK today (Wednesday, 21 March) launched its “Get On My Land” campaign and is asking the wider public to support its call on Government to provide funding for farmers who make it easier for the public to enjoy their land.

The cycling charity has also suggested public funding should not be provided to farmers and landowners who neglect their existing duty to keep rights of way, such as footpaths and bridleways, open and in a fit state. 

These suggestions from Cycling UK form part of its forthcoming response to the Department for Food and Rural Affair’s consultation ‘The future for food, farming and the environment’.

As the Government prepares for Brexit, it is looking to move away from the funding model established by the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). CAP currently provides direct payments to landowners based on the amount of land farmed. As an alternative the Government has proposed a new system of paying farmers “public money for public goods”.

Cycling UK’s position of improving access has drawn the support of some of the nation’s farmers, as Jeanette Simpson who works on Denbies Wine Estate near Dorking, Surrey said:

“We are located near a national trail, part of which cyclists have access to and which runs along the outskirts of Denbies, meaning both cyclists and walkers frequently come through our farm. So, if the Government were to link farming subsides to improvements and maintenance of the rights of way through our property, then we’d definitely welcome more visitors!”

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Head of Campaigns and Advocacy said:

“As the Government reconsiders how it will support our farmers in the years ahead, they’re presented with the golden opportunity not just to help our vibrant and important agriculture sector, but also to increase people’s enjoyment of our beloved countryside.

“Providing funding to improve our footpaths and bridleways will benefit all farmers great and small, and will ensure our future generations can learn and appreciate the importance of preserving this vital green space.

“Cycling UK sees increasing public access, particularly in the creation or restoration of connected routes as a public good, which farmers, visitors and local communities can benefit from and enjoy.”

Cycling UK sees this as a “golden opportunity” to improve access and create linked routes which will allow more people to experience the countryside and enjoy both the mental and physical health benefits that comes with its exploration.

“In England and Wales we’re at the mercy of our archaic and inconsistent rights of way classification,” commented Mr Dollimore. “One moment you’re on a bridleway and then a boundary is crossed and you’re on a footpath – all for no good reason. It’s confusing, and Cycling UK wants this to change – so people cycling can enjoy continuous legal routes.”

It’s not just landowners and visitors who would benefit from improved access. Rural communities could use the new off-road networks to access schools and shopping centres in local towns, without having to rely on public transport or private vehicles.

To support Cycling UK’s Get On My Land campaign, go to: www.cyclinguk.org/getonmyland

Contact information 

For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07786 320 713 or email publicity@cyclinguk.org

Notes to editors 
  1. Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org
  2. Defra’s consultation ‘The future for food, farming and the environment’ is available online: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-future-for-food-farming-and-the-environment
  3. Cycling UK’s vision document, Beyond the Green Belt, is available at: https://www.cyclinguk.org/sites/default/files/document/2018/02/1802_beyond_the_green_belt_final.pdf
  4. Cycling UK’s off-road survey, Rides of Way, is available at: www.bit.ly/cyclinguk-ridesofway
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Please donate to help us drive down dangerous driving
Sick of being close passed by drivers?
Please donate to help us drive down dangerous driving by equipping police forces to run driver education programmes