The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) has backed a new campaign to stop the sale of Forestry Commission land, which it believes would not be in the interest of those who like to go walking
It noted that while all the commission's land would theoretically retain right-of-way status, this would be open to legal challenges and landowners would not be obliged to maintain footpaths.
Noting the government consultation is likely to be launched this week, the body urged people to take part and make their views known.
The BMC is arguing such safeguards would need to be included in the bill to protect walkers and flagged up a protest rally planned to take place in the Grizedale Forest on January 30th.
Located in the Lake District between Esthwaite Water and Coniston Water, the Grizedale Forest is a popular attraction with visitors and offers sculptures, a Go Ape course and various trails for walkers to follow, including the Ridding Wood Trail and the Silurian Way.