The saga of the access to the countryside continues. Our spies in the field tell us that this letter has been sent to all "Open Spaces Society" members and, we assume, all Ramblers' Association members.

Regrettably, it clearly misrepresents facts to their members, by mentioning only the protection of wildlife specie and habitats! What are they hiding from members?

It would seem they want no questions asked about the corresponding legislation for rights of way outlined in Improving Rights of Way in England and Wales which will adversely effect everyone else. This organisation has been in 'the game' too long for it to have escaped their notice that these are very damaging proposals!

In their efforts to push through legislation benefiting only themselves they are willing to sacrifice OUR rights of way.

We ask everyone reading this to also send a letter to Mr. Blair and Mr. Prescott asking for this to be postponed until it has been revised.

Prime Minister

Rt Hon Tony Blair

10 Downing Street,

London

SW1A 2AA,

Deputy Prime Minister

Rt Hon John Prescott MP,

Department of the Environment,

Eland House,

Bressenden Place,

London

SW1E 5DU.

Letter to Open Spaces Society Members

THE OPEN SPACES SOCIETY

25A Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon RG9 2BA

Tel: 01491 573535 email: OSSHQ@aol.com

Registered charity 214753

Chairman RODNEY LEGG

General Secretary KATE ASHBROOK

10 September 1999

LAST CHANCE FOR LEGAL ACCESS TO COMMON LAND AND OTHER OPEN COUNTY - PLEASE ACT NOW

We have recently heard that the chances of freedom-to-roam legislation being in this year's Queen's Speech have increased dramatically. This law will give people the freedom to roam, responsibly and peacefully, on common land, mountain, moor, heath and down throughout England and Wales - the culmination of a campaign which the society has fought for much of its existence.

It is likely that the legislation will form part of a wider countryside

bill, to protect wildlife species and habitats.

However, the timing is not yet certain. And if the legislation fails to make the next Queen's Speech, it will be subject to damaging political delay, uncertainty and possible dilution.

The decision on the Queen's Speech will probably be made at the end of September, so we can still make a difference. That's where you come in.

Please write two letters now: one to the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Tony Blair W at 10 Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA, the other to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon John Prescott MP, Department of the Environment, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5DU.

Please ask them for the access legislation to be in this year's Queen's Speech.

Kate Ashbrook

General Secretary

Please print out or copy this letter and mail it today!

Dear Mr. Blair/Mr. Prescott

As a recreational access user, I ask that Central Government carefully reconsider the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions' proposals outlined in their consultation document 'Improving Rights of Way in England and Wales'.

These proposals will have widespread negative impact on the UK's unique heritage of ancient packhorse trails and carriage roads. They must be protected as a valuable national asset, by providing recreational access to the countryside while preserving historical landscape features.

I feel that in their efforts to apply pressure to Central Government to realise the long fought for right to roam, the Open Spaces Society and Ramblers' Association are failing to fully understand the implications for rights of way.

While Central Government attempts to correct the errors of previous administrations, they are in great danger of committing further errors by attempting to push legislation through in the next session of Parliament.

Hasty law is rarely effective or good law.

Regards,