This is an archived press release
Wednesday 8 September 2004
8 September 2004
Peak District hosts national launch for new access to open country
An open door to open country - that is the prospect when the Peak District National Park hosts the national launch of new rights to walk on wild land on Sunday 19 September.
The Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act gives walkers access to miles of privately-owned moorland previously closed to the public for decades. The new access is being rolled out in stages - the first phase is being launched at a national event at Derbyshire Bridge, Goyt Valley, near Buxton.
Minister for Rural Affairs Alun Michael is heading the launch event on moorland owned by United Utilities. 450 guests including members of recreation groups, landowners, countryside agencies and local authorities will walk in the open country with National Park rangers.
The National Park Authority is working in partnership with other rural agencies and landowners to ensure as smooth an introduction of the new rights as possible - appointing extra rangers, installing 400 new gates and stiles and putting up 250 new waymarker signs wherever the open country is accessible.
The public have been involved through the Peak District Local Access Forum, especially those with a special interest in the new opportunities, such as the Ramblers' Association, as well as landowners from small-holders to national companies.
The size and significance of the launch event will mean a temporary ban for cars in the vicinity of Derbyshire Bridge over the weekend of September 18-19 but walkers will not lose out, as a free park-and-ride scheme will be available.
Derbyshire Bridge car park will be closed on September 18-19, and parts of Derbyshire Bridge Road and Goyt Lane will be closed on September 19, from 10am to 6pm.
A courtesy bus will run on Sunday 19 September only, 10.30am to 6pm, from Grin Low Country Park car park (off Grin Low Road) to Derbyshire Bridge, and motorists will still be able to use the nearby Street car park near Errwood reservoir.
Sean Prendergast, the National Park Authority's head of access and recreation, said: "We don't want to inconvenience people, but this is a nationally important event and people will be arriving from all over the country. We would ask the public to bear with us for a short time while we make preparations and while the event takes place."
Information on newly accessible land is available from visitor centres, the Open Access Contact Centre on 0845 100 3298, www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk or www.peakdistrict.org/crow