Countryside and Rights of Way Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 1st November 2000.

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Photo of Baroness Byford Baroness Byford Conservative 5:30 pm, 1st November 2000

My Lords, we on these Benches support the thrust of the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Hardy. He admitted that his amendment may not be perfect and he has indicated that he is willing to allow the Minister to come back with a different version.

The amendment concerns "a recognised nature reserve". Perhaps one of the Government's fears is that anyone, anywhere, could say that a site should be excepted land. Many voluntary organisations are working to preserve and conserve the countryside. If this is not acknowledged to be a problem, the fear is that that support may dwindle. That would be a great shame because individuals make contributions either through the practical running of the centres or through the money they raise.

The noble Lord seeks some form of protection within nature reserves which enables them to be enjoyed by people, but on an organised basis. If I understand the noble Lord correctly--which I hope I do--I am happy to support the amendment.