Purposes of National Parks

Part of Clause 60 – in the House of Commons at 8:30 pm on 28th June 1995.

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Photo of Mr Michael Jopling Mr Michael Jopling , Westmorland and Lonsdale 8:30 pm, 28th June 1995

The hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) does not believe that many of the people who are keen for the words "quiet enjoyment" to remain in the Bill want to put a stop on activities about which concerns have been expressed. He may be right, but people engaged in quarrying, farming, shooting and other activities are concerned about the zealot who may use those words in the courts for exactly the opposite purpose, to stop such activities.

Some years ago, one of my constituents moved to a secluded dale because he wanted quiet, and he objected to local farmers whistling up sheep dogs. That constituent caused great irritation with his complaints. That is the sort of thing that can happen when a total zealot is involved.

The hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley) does not believe that the Government have tried hard to find a way of avoiding removal of the words "quiet enjoyment". Because of my anxiety about those two words on behalf of my constituents, I know for a fact that the hon. Gentleman is wrong. My right hon. Friend the Minister tried exceptionally hard to keep those words in the Bill. I am convinced that it is impossible to devise a way of retaining them while protecting historic and traditional activities from the zealot. I can give that assurance because of discussions with my right hon. Friend, when he was kind enough to explain that he tried extremely hard.