Nick Smith MP has urged constituents to back the Open Wales campaign in a bid to make the best of Blaenau Gwent open to all.

Orchestrated by the British Mountaineering Council, it looks to convince the Welsh Government to extend and simplify access laws.

The Welsh Government has already instigated a review into the issue, looking at increasing responsible access, improving the public path network and increasing available land for allotments and community gardening.

Mr Smith, who is also the president of Blaenau Gwent Red Ramblers, said it is a waste when residents and tourists cannot enjoy the spectacular countryside.

“Despite our changeable weather I still think Blaenau Gwent is one of the most beautiful areas going”, he said.

“Thanks to some hard work, we now have plenty of routes and paths to enjoy. But there are still large expanses that deserve to be appreciated.

“I am a big proponent of public health, because saying the healthier we are the better things are isn’t rocket science.

“Apart from some difficult walks benefitting from a good coat and pair of shoes, there isn’t a cheaper way to get fit.

“I hope the Welsh Government give this some real consideration and open up our countryside.”

The British Mountaineering Council said the estimated cost of physical inactivity to Wales is about £650m a year.

Only 37 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women in Wales are reported to meet their recommended levels of physical activity.

It said 60 per cent of the adult population of Wales would like to visit the outdoors more often.

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