A week ago I wrote about the #RightToRoam Early Day Motion which Caroline Lucas in Brighton set out on the 14th March with support initially from Liz Saville-Roberts who is the Plaid Cymru leader in Parliament. Two days later the Early Day Motion was approved by four Labour MPs who represented the North East, North West, East of England and London regions. Caroline represents the South East region. A day later an MP who is currently Independent signed it representing the East Midlands. By the end of the Parliament period on the 31st of March there were only 22 MPs that had endorsed it. However in the first couple of days after their Easter break the number had reached 27 which is what I was referring to last week. Since last Sunday another 14 MPs have responded to it. At last week I was raising concerns that while there were also SNP, Liberal Democratic and DUP signatures that had emerged that it was very sad that not a single Conservative MP appeared to endorse the #RightToRoam Early Day Motion. However last Tuesday Peter Bottomley who is the Father of the House and a Conservative MP in Worthing signed the EDM. Let us hope that now he has signed it that a significant number of other MPs will sign it. The 41 signatures is great but we would love to see several hundred MPs that sign it. Here is the text for the piece and this link which directs us to that text also lists the MPs that have signed it. The regions is also shown below:
1 MP for East Midlands; Northern Ireland; South West
2 MPs for East of England; North East; West Midlands
4 MPs for Scotland; Wales; Yorkshire and the Humber
5 MPs for South East; London
10 MPs for North West
This is the text for the EDM
That this House notes that 24 April marks the 90th anniversary of the mass trespass onto Kinder Scout; acknowledges that this trespass united the campaign for access to the countryside and eventually contributed to the establishment of the UK’s first national parks through the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949; recognises the growing body of evidence demonstrating the importance of access to nature for health and wellbeing which has been highlighted by the covid-19 pandemic when use of parks and public green spaces increased; is concerned that people from ethnic minorities or with low incomes are less likely to live near green space and 2.7 million people in the UK have no publicly accessible green space within easy walking distance from their home; notes that the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 only provides access to 8% per cent of English land, and that the public can only access 3 per cent of rivers in England and Wales; acknowledges that legislation in Scotland and European countries including Norway provides for a much greater right to roam; believes that extending the right to roam to cover more landscapes and recreational activities would improve the public’s connection to nature whilst also delivering on the Government’s commitment in the 25 Year Environment Plan to open up the mental and physical health benefits of the natural world; and calls on the Government to bring forward legislation to extend the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 to include rivers, woods and Green Belt land.