Watch Where You Walk
My upcoming mystery, “A Deadly Walk in Devon,” features a group walk along the north Devon coast in England. Since ancient times, England has recognized “the right to roam,” which allows anyone to wander in open countryside, whether the land is private or public. This was legalized in 2000 with the Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act. Across England and Wales there are more than 140,000 miles of public walk paths—yet that represents only 8% of the countryside. Efforts to extend that further, such as in a highly publicized recent battle in Dartmoor National Park, continue, and often become very heated. Walkers should always research where they plan to walk, and whether the path is an approved one.