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Britain enshrines right to ramble

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September 30, 2004

Britain enshrines right to ramble

On September 19th, six million acres of undeveloped and uncultivated private property was opened to Britons for the purpose of "rambling" – affectionately referred to as the British pastime of walking through bogs in the rain. Hikers and members of the UK's Ramblers' Association applauded the legislative move, though property owners expressed concern that their land would be inundated with troublemakers and ne'er-do-wells.

In the UK, where there is virtually no property that is not held privately, the issue of public access to the countryside is an important one. The first Freedom to Roam Act was introduced in 1884, though it was successively reduced in scope until 1914 when access to private property was restricted pending the owner's permission.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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