News Access and Conservation news BMC launches Access Land film highlighting the fight for better access

BMC launches Access Land film highlighting the fight for better access

Access and Conservation news

This Valentine’s Day, show your love for our land by sharing the BMC’s new Access Land film to help campaign for better access to wild spaces.

Did you know that walkers and climbers can still only access 11% of England and Wales without the fear of trespassing? Furthermore, these sites are often remote mountain, moorlands, heath and coastlines meaning they’re only accessible to people who live there or who can afford the cost of travel and overnight stays. If people remain disconnected from nature in this way, how can they be expected to care about it and conserve it? In addition to this, scientific evidence conclusively proves that mental and physical health of the entire population benefits immeasurably with frequent time spent in nature.

Join our fight for better access

Access and Conservation Officer for Wales Eben Muse says, “At the BMC we feel that we should radically re-think our approach to accessing nature. We should aim for a default of inclusion and learn from the do-no-harm approach taken in Scotland and Scandinavia, providing everyone with a responsible Right to Roam. Failing this, our freedoms on access land should be expanded, with rights of access extended to woodlands, all downlands (not just fragments as at present), and Green Belt land. We should be allowed to camp, kayak, swim and climb in these places too. We believe that these activities and freedoms can exist alongside a thriving agricultural landscape and while respecting and looking after our natural landscapes, bringing us closer to nature. We’ve listened to our members, and this is what we are campaigning for.”

WATCH: 'Access Land' campaign film

What is the BMC doing about it?

1. Our new Outdoors for All manifesto, produced by a coalition of outdoor organisations, calls for new legislation to open up the British countryside. It will be officially launched in Parliament on 6 March 2024.

READ MORE: Outdoors For All: A Manifesto for the Outdoor Sector

2. We are actively engaged in the front lines of the debate for access, and have given our support to the recent Dartmoor Wild Camping appeal and remain focused on any opportunities to spread awareness of the importance of an extended right to roam.

3. We are advocating for more access on all BMC platforms. We are launching our short film titled ‘Access Land’ as part of this campaign which you can share to encourage more to join our cause.

What else can you do?

Write to your MP in England or your MS in Wales

We have included a template below which you can change or add to. If you receive a notable response, please share it with us at Enter your postcode here and personalise your letter at

Access Email Template

Dear [Your representative name],

I’m writing to you to call for your support for access reform, and a Scottish/Scandinavian style access system. We believe that a default of access with exceptions for cropland, private gardens, and other sensible exceptions is the cheapest, most effective way of bringing us all closer to nature and supercharging our path networks.

We only have a right to access 11% of England and Wales, and much of that land is far away from urban areas where people actually live. This creates an inherent inequality of access and barriers for people who live away from areas where there is access land freely available. We are also not permitted to swim in our rivers, lakes, or wild camp discreetly even in on ‘access land’, cutting us off from meaningful experiences and health benefits.

The BBC reported that 32,000 of our paths are blocked, and our councils are unable to process the registering of our historic rights of way in time for the 2031 cutoff. We are among the world’s least nature-connected people and it’s time for a change, and we are calling on you to support meaningful access reform as well as the abolishment of the cutoff date for registering historic rights of way.

Extending our right to roam would bring a host of benefits, from physical health and reducing the burden on the NHS, to helping to create the next generation of environmentalists and stewards for nature.

We believe that the Countryside Code should be properly funded, and introduced as part of the national curriculum, alongside essential skills for enjoying the countryside and connecting with nature.

Please, join the general public in supporting this cost effective, popular policy.

Thanks, and best wishes,

[Include your name and address here so your MP/MS knows you’re a constituent].

Support the BMC and Right to Roam campaign

BMC access work is funded directly by BMC members, so your membership goes a long way towards supporting this and other access work, to protect and to protect access to our hills, crags, and green spaces. Join the BMC for £2.95 / month

WATCH: 'Access Land' film in Welsh