Harry Potter author JK Rowling ‘breaks roaming laws’
HARRY Potter author JK Rowling has been embroiled in a row over an alleged breach of roaming rights laws on land she controls.
Walkers claim a six-mile historic right-of-way through Scottish Borders forest land has been blocked off, according to BBC reports.
Thistlelane Ltd, a company run by Rowling’s husband, Neil Murray, owns the 290-hectare Sheperdscleuh estate as well as the 306-hectare Wardlaw estate.
The author herself holds majority control of the company, owning at least three quarters of the shares.
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The BBC reported that while the company confirmed that “issues” were being discussed with locals over their access rights, it denied breaching any legislation.
Photos provided to the BBC appear to confirm claims that no access panels were fitted to the ROW gates.
The path in question is known as Captain’s Road. It departs from the Tibbie Shiels Inn at the southern end of St Mary’s Loch, west of Selkirk.
The six-mile route passes through Hopehouse on Ettrick Water.
Gordon Harrison, former chairman of Ettrick and Yarrow Community Council who was involved in initial negotiations with landowners when sections of Captain’s Road were reinstated, said there had been “continuing obstacles put in place to prevent people to use the road”.
He told the BBC: “The latest is that they are planting saplings on the right-of-way and not offering any alternative route – those saplings will quickly grow into big trees and it will be impossible to get there. walk or ride a bike.”
Charlotte Cavey-Wilcox, of Thistlelane’s agent, Scottish Woodlands, said: “We are currently working closely with Scottish Forestry, Scottish Borders Council and Ettrick and Yarrow Community Development Company to try to resolve the issues.
“Members of the public have the right to responsible access under Scottish law and the terms of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and these rights have not been restricted in Shepherdscleuch Forest.”