Wild camping 'should only be the permission of landowners'

The body represending Welsh landowners say wild camping should only be down with the permission of landowners.

More people are wild camping in Wales
More people are wild camping in Wales

This year has seen a huge increase in the number of people pitching tents and camper vans in open countryside.

Now CLA Cymru Wales’ leading body representing landowners says that, currently illegal, it could be done responsibly.

But it says some wild campers have brought with them unsociable behaviour and abuse of the countryside.

Charles de Winton, Rural Surveyor from CLA Cymru said: "Responsible wild camping can be accommodated on Welsh land where it is safe for visitors, livestock, crops and wildlife and importantly, has the permission of the landowners.”

“Wild camping is illegal in Wales and England. What this means to visitors and land managers is that authorities have powers to act against ‘fly-camping’, which is associated with littering, damage and other anti-social behaviour.

He said today wild camping has a new meaning.

"It's more about being entirely sustainable or close-to-nature. It is important to recognise that it’s short-term, recreational and zero-impact, and has a role to play in social wellbeing and further improving the wider community’s relationship with our land and those who manage it. Some rural businesses are already taking steps to develop opportunities within the law.”

“It’s important to remember that most rural land in Wales is looked after and maintained by farmers. Here they may have vulnerable livestock and crops, and they play a vital part in bio-conservation and landscape care. This is their home and livelihood.

“In this so-called staycation summer landowners are pleased to be welcoming more visitors to the Welsh countryside, but we have seen an increase of incidents of unsociable behaviour and abuse of the countryside.

"Farms and rural businesses are vulnerable to damage by fire, contamination by human or dog excrement, livestock attack, litter and fly tipping. This year the Countryside Code has been reviewed and we have called on government in both Wales and England to include it in the national schools curricula. At the CLA, we’ve played a part in the creation of free teaching resources.”

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