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To: The Board and Directors of Natural England

STOP & RETHINK National Nature Reserves as Open Access areas.

STOP & RETHINK National Nature Reserves as Open Access areas.

Conduct a full, public and open consultation before allowing unrestricted and irreversible uses of our National Nature Reserves.

Why is this important?

National Nature Reserves (NNRs), our finest wildlife sites, enjoy special protection so that their plants and animals cannot be put at risk. Those covered by European law, are known as Natural 2000 sites.

Now Natural England, the Government's Agency responsible for NNRs, proposes to turn a large number of their NNRs into open access areas, including allowing dogs and the potential for horses and bikes and even motorised vehicles.

Yet, almost all National Nature Reserves already have suitable public access in relation to their primary purpose of protecting their exceptional and often vulnerable wildlife. The way in which this proposal is being carried out poses real threats and raises many questions. There has been almost no public consultation, with very limited opportunities for anyone to get themselves heard.

We therefore call upon Natural England Board and Directors, as the Government Agency charged to safeguard the natural environment, to conduct a full, public and open enquiry to ensure that England’s wildlife retains the protection it deserves and is not unnecessarily put at risk.

The image above illustrates the sensitive habitat at Thorne Moors SSSI which is now placed at unnecessary risk.

This latest proposal is one in a series of events over the last four decades or so which have threatened the existence of these special places. A campaign chronology which charts the "Battle for the Bogs" can be viewed via


Reasons for signing

  • I have in the past been to lots of NNRs that are not suitable for open access. I have been threatened with violence on a couple of occasions when I have taken people to task over their behaviour or warned them of safety issues. Many people will always refuse to be educated. Who will police them and who will pay? The thing that will suffer the most is the flora and fauna. One size does not fit all.
  • Because NNR's are there to protect wildlife, yes they should be for all to enjoy but allowing dogs & motorbikes would cause uneccessary disturbance & damage.
  • NNR were set up for a good reason. Anyone who knows that understands that to maintain their very special qualities access must be carefully controlled. I live near this site and fully accept the restrictions because I know why they are there. On a small crowded island we simply have to accept this.


2013-08-19 07:37:55 +0100

100 signatures reached

2013-08-15 16:04:19 +0100

50 signatures reached

2013-08-15 07:25:09 +0100

25 signatures reached

2013-08-14 20:22:12 +0100

10 signatures reached

2013-08-13 23:01:07 +0100

This latest proposal, one which has not been conducted as a full, open and transparent public consultation and available for public scrutiny is the latest in the chronology which catalogues the "Battle for the Bogs", see