Public set to have their say on Nottinghamshire rights of way plans
Nottinghamshire County Council is set to launch an eight-week consultation to help boost plans to manage its public rights of way - a network of 4,000 public footpaths, bridleways and byways.
The go-ahead to launch a consultation in the New Year has been formally approved by councillors and been welcomed by the local branch of the National Farmers Union.
Public and partners – including farmers, the Ramblers Association, My Sight Nottinghamshire, (formerly Royal Society for the Blind) and environmental and voluntary groups – will have the chance to comment on the Council’s latest ten year plan to help get the best out of the County’s public rights of way network.
Councillor John Cottee, Communities and Place committee chairman said,
“Nottinghamshire is a fantastic place to enjoy the great outdoors – so our aim is for even more local residents and visitors to make the most our wonderful countryside and benefit from a more active lifestyle.
“After all, a visit to the countryside, particularly to walk, is still the most popular leisure pursuit in this county, and even better, it doesn’t cost a thing!
“With changes to farming practices, increased residential and business development and an increasing population and reduced council budgets, we are always looking for cost-effective ways to maintain and improve our current network of public rights of way and work closely with partners to achieve this.
“Therefore, this consultation, which is due to begin in the New Year will give the public and our partners the chance to let us know if we are on the right track with our plans.
“We regularly review our plans as part of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000."
Welcoming the decision, Andy Guy, county adviser for Nottinghamshire NFU said,
“We certainly welcome this consultation as it will be great chance to highlight Nottinghamshire’s beautiful countryside as well as the work being done by local farmers in maintaining access to the network of local public footpaths as they can often criss-cross their land.
“For example, after ploughing, farmers endeavour to mark out paths to make it easier for the public to enjoy their walk and stay on the right line.”
The eight-week consultation will begin in the New Year to help ensure that the County is on track, particularly with the following themes:
• That local rights of way are continuing to meet current and future needs
• They help promote exercise and other forms of open air recreation
• They are accessible for those who are visually-impaired or have mobility issues
Further details about how residents and partners can access these latest Right of Ways plan and have their say will be published in the New Year.