"Get on my land!"

UK farmers to say “Get on my land” to cyclists? Cycling UK says for public funds to improve footpaths and bridleways.

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Cycling UK has launched a campaign called “Get On My Land” asking the 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.

Post-Brexit means post-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”.

>>> 80% of mountain bikers ride on footpaths

Cycling UK think this is a golden opportunity to better support a national network of paths and trails, including cycling rights of way. But to do this public access needs to end up in the new Agriculture Bill as one of the public benefits linked to farm subsidies.

Your help is needed to make this happen.

Got to: cyclinguk.org/getonmyland

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”

“In England and Wales we’re at the mercy of our archaic and inconsistent rights of way classification. 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.