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New short films in Welsh and English highlight campaign for ‘right to roam’

14 Feb 2024 3 minute read
The Lonely Shepherd, cut by early 19th C quarrymen. Photo by Stephen Price

A short film has been released by a campaign group calling for increased access to the outdoors – filmed in Wales, in both Welsh and English.

According to the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), we can currently only access 11% of England and Wales.

Access Land / Tir Mynediad

The BMC’s latest short film, ‘Access Land’ (Tir Mynediad), aims to shine a spotlight on the organisation’s efforts in advocating for increased access to the outdoors.

Fersiwn Cymraeg

For over 80 years, the BMC has been at the forefront of the movement to connect people with nature. Through “Access Land,” viewers will gain insight into the BMC’s commitment to campaigning for providing everyone with a Right to Roam.

The feature was filmed at the Lonely Shepherd (Pica Stone or Bugail Unig), above the Clydach Gorge in Monmouthshire on Mynydd Llangatwg (Llangattock Mountain) – an area steeped in myth and legend.

Both main cast members are local climbers – Mabli Eustace is an actor who has featured on S4C in the TV show Enid and Lucy, and works part time as a climbing instructor.

The other half of the cast is Roy Thomas, who has been climbing in south Wales for decades. He can still be found every day into his retirement, cleaning up new crags or maintaining old ones.

Narrating both short films, Mabli powerfully says: “Returning our common space is not a maybe, it’s a must”

Access Land Video. Image: BMC Youtube

BMC Access and Conservation Officer, Eben Muse, says “Failing this, our freedoms on access land should be expanded, with rights of access extended to woodlands, all downlands (not just fragments as at present), and Green Belt land.

“We should be allowed to camp, kayak, swim and climb in these places too. We believe that these activities and freedoms can exist alongside a thriving agricultural landscape and while respecting and looking after our natural landscapes, bringing us closer to nature.

“We’ve listened to our members, and this is what we are campaigning for.”

“Roaming”

Mark Vaughan, the Filmmaker behind ‘Access Land’, shares, “I wanted to create a story which shows what the word ‘roaming’ looks, sounds, and feels like to me.

“There are sunny sides to share, and darker sides too.”

Through the film, audiences are invited on a journey that celebrates the beauty of the outdoors while highlighting the urgency of ensuring equitable access for all.

Eben Muse emphasises, “The land around us is where the crags are – where nature is. It goes beyond the paths and wandering off them allows us to connect more deeply with our landscapes.”

With “Access Land,” the BMC aims to inspire action and support for its mission of securing access in perpetuity.

Call to action

As “Access Land” makes its debut, the BMC urges individuals to join the movement for change by sharing the film widely and contacting their local MP or MS.

Eben added: “By spreading awareness of the importance of access to the outdoors, we can collectively work towards a future where everyone has the opportunity to connect with nature. Together, let’s ensure that the landscapes we cherish are accessible to all.”

Watch and share: ‘Access Land’ in English or ‘Mynediad Tir’ in Welsh.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

‘Kinder Scout Trespass’…12th April 1932, keep that day free for a walk with a purpose…

Why no mention on here ?…

I could tell you a story…

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion
Glen
Glen
1 month ago

In fact the whole countryside should be turned into one massive adventure playground for the urban middle class.

Sling your hook farmers.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Glen

You are only half way there, sadly…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Unless you have a grouse moor in your pocket you are keeping hidden, Glen…

Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
1 month ago

Statistics such as the low percentage of land in England and Wales are unhelpful. We live in a country which is very urbanised and has lost any culture of respect for those who live and work in more rural areas notably farmers. The urban land should be taken out of the equation as most of it is occupied by residential and industrial premises and roads. The remaining land should be classified – gardens should not be accepted for right of access. Rights of way need to be maintained and accepted but it should be possible to deviate them where development… Read more »

Bobby
Bobby
1 month ago

That’s untrue – the population density of Wales away from the M4 corridor is remarkably low. And besides, it’s a complete dud of an argument as much of the access enjoyed via the ‘right to roam’ in places like Sweden Scotland and Norway is most cherished immediately outside of urban areas. They don’t have to drive five hours into the mountains to enjoy it. Those of us who campaign for more access don’t do it for the dogs – I agree with you that they are a problem – Scotland for example has just increased fines for livestock worrying to… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Bobby

I expect you have heard of the ‘trespass’ to which I referred, we must assume the author had not…

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