BARNSLEY’S only Conservative MP has called on ramblers and cyclists to not stray away from public footpaths following outrage from farmers.

Over recent months, Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Miriam Cates has been visiting farmers across her constituency following reports of damage to their land.

Ms Cates said: “We’re fortunate that South Yorkshire has such amazing landscapes, including local beauty spots and numerous walking and cycling routes.

“A number of farmers have raised their concerns that some walkers and cyclists stray from the public foot and cycle paths.

“This can cause damage to the land, pose danger to individuals and farm animals, whilst also undermining the privacy of farmers themselves.

“To keep safe when walking and cycling on or near farmland, it’s important to stick to footpaths and cycle routes and to make sure that livestock are protected by keeping dogs on their leads when appropriate to do so.

“Everyone has a right to access nature and our great outdoors, but farmers also have a right to expect people to be considerate and to respect their working environment, privacy and security.”