Thank you to several constituents for contacting me about Government proposals to change the law around trespass.
In November 2019, the Home Office launched a consultation on proposals to criminalise the act of trespassing when setting up an unauthorised encampment in England and Wales. This consultation closed in March 2020 and the Government is yet to publish its response.
I know that concerns have been raised about the effect these proposals could have on the right to roam and access to green spaces and the countryside.
The Government has said that the proposed measures would not affect ramblers, the right to roam or rights of way. Instead, the measures would apply to specific circumstances relating to trespass with intent to reside.
The benefits of access to green spaces and the natural world are clear. I agree more widely that more could be done to open up the countryside and provide safe and secure footpaths, particularly for those with disabilities. The Government should support and enhance such access.
I will continue to follow developments related to the Government’s proposals closely and scrutinise any measures that are ultimately brought forward.