Roaming the British countryside is our right – we must fight to preserve it | Glen O’Hara

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Our rural rights of way need to be reclaimed and protected. But time is running out, and I urge people to join the cause

As Covid lockdowns drag on, and full spring is still some way away, it’s inevitable that thoughts should turn to getting outdoors. That’s what is behind the constant questions about domestic or foreign holidays; and it’s what sells the seemingly endless stream of stories about cold water swimming or moving to “the country”.

It’s not just a matter of fleeting wish fulfilment. Travel and tourism are a mainstay of the British economy, accounting for about 10% of jobs and nearly 10% of GDP. Walking, cycling and generally spending time in the British countryside are among our favourite pastimes, spanning everything from high-end glamping to quick local walks with the dog.

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