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Ramblers slam AONB plans

Posted 17 February 2012
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Ramblers slam AONB plans
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The Ramblers has attacked a decision by Somerset County Council to sell an area of land in the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Many people like to go walking, ride mountain bikes or ride horses across the uplands of the AONB, but the plan by the council to sell off some of the land may jeopardise such public access, the walkers' campaigning organisation has warned.

Senior policy officer at the Ramblers Justin Cooke said: "Our fear is that if the land is sold off to a private individual, the level and quality of access could be severely reduced."

He expressed concern that many local authorities around the country will take similar action in a bid to raise revenues, arguing Somerset's actions are "severely short sighted".

Responding to the council's decision, the Quantock Hills AONB Service said it is seeking assurances that public rights of way and access land will be protected.

It also called for moves to ensure the permissive access to Great Wood - particularly for cyclists - is maintained.