New Countryside Code guidance has been released for farmers and land managers. The guidance says that they must ensure their land can be easily reached by ‘visitors with different abilities and needs’ – effectively, asking them to replace stiles and kissing gates with accessible access points, and to use more accessible signage. The guidance says: “Access on your land should be easy for visitors with different abilities and needs… Create gaps or put up accessible self-closing gates instead of stiles where there is public access, if possible.” The guidance has been slammed by countryside groups who object to costs and the risks of more trespassing.
Disability Right’s UK’s Fazilet Hadi said: “The law has been clear for 25 years that reasonable adjustments must be made for Disabled people. It’s great news that the Government is now actively encouraging landowners to understand a diverse range of access needs and make the relevant changes so the countryside can be enjoyed by everyone.”