Journal Article

Whose right to roam? : contesting access to England's countryside


England’s ‘right to roam’ continues to be a misnomer which is uneven in scope and inclusivity. While the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 opened access to privately owned mountains, moors, heaths, and downs, the changes were not as bold as they at first seemed and access was still restricted. The 2000 Act was representative of the contemporary atmosphere in which concern for accessibility and inclusivity was strongly qualified, with a focus on non-disabled walkers at the expense of others. Though physical disabilities were now better catered for, much less was said about intellectual disabilities, race, ethnicity, place, income and transport. Such issues have gathered increased awareness in recent years, but more remains to be done if access to the countryside is to be more equal. This paper examines how ‘right to roam’ and access legislation developed, and how engagement with disabled people was limited from the outset.

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Breen, Tom
Flint, Abbi
Hickman, Clare
O'Hara, Glen

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of History, Philosophy and Culture


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-03-14

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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