Countryside and Rights of Way Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 1st November 2000.

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Photo of Lord McIntosh of Haringey Lord McIntosh of Haringey Deputy Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household, Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords) 4:00 pm, 1st November 2000

My Lords, we gave assurances in Committee and assurances were given in another place that the criteria adopted by the countryside bodies for the mapping of open country will exclude improved agricultural land from maps of open country. We had said repeatedly that this land will fall outside the criteria which the countryside bodies are adopting for mapping open country. We wrote recently to the noble Baroness, Lady Byford, to explain that the Countryside Agency has already issued a paper for consideration by the National Countryside Access Forum setting out its initial views on the criteria it should adopt in mapping open country. If that paper was not copied to any noble Lords who have taken part in this debate, I should be happy to do that.

The paper focuses on naturally occurring vegetation as an indicator of its status as mountain, moor, heath or down. The proposed criteria exclude land that comprises improved or semi-improved pastures, arable land, land used for rotational cropping and set aside.