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JK Rowling locked in row over ‘right to roam’ on Scottish estate

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JK Rowling locked in row over ‘right to roam’ on Scottish estate

  • Thistlelane Ltd has been accused of blocking access to the Captain’s Road
  • The sole director of the company is Rowling’s husband, Dr. Neil Murray, but she’s in control of the stake
  • It denies that the law related to the right to roaming has been violated by actions

JK Rowling’s forestry company lined up with walkers and cyclists on a popular trail.

Thistlelane Ltd has been accused of blocking access to the Captain’s Road path with signs and trees.

It has been claimed by hikers and mountain bikers that a historic six-mile right-of-way was obstructed by this.

The 290-acre Sheperdscleuh Estate and the 306-acre Wardlaw are both owned by Thistlelane.

It denied all allegations that roaming rights laws had been violated.

Mountain bike enthusiast Paul Collins, who lives in the Yarrow Valley, said: ‘We can’t walk or cycle the original Captain’s Road now due to forestry, and they remain concerned about using the nearby forest road as an alternative route.

The sole director of Thistlelane Ltd is Mrs Rowling’s husband Dr. Neil Murray, but the Harry Potter author appears to have significant control over the company in the Companies House newspapers

The 290 acre Sheperdscleuh Estate and the 306 acre Wardlaw area are both owned by Thistlelane

The 290 acre Sheperdscleuh Estate and the 306 acre Wardlaw area are both owned by Thistlelane

“We are now at the stage where we cannot follow the Captain’s Road due to the action of the landowners,” he added to the BBC.

Collins thought forestry companies in nearby Glentress were opening up large tracts of land to walkers and mountain bikers.

But he said the path at the center of the dispute appears to have been handled differently.

The sole director of Thistlelane Ltd is Dr. Neil Murray, Mrs. Rowling’s husband.

The trail is named after a Napoleonic War captain named Napier, who bought and worked the same hills in the early 1800s

The trail is named after a Napoleonic War captain named Napier, who bought and worked the same hills in the early 1800s

But the author appears to have considerable control over the company in the Companies House newspapers.

Gordon Harrison, former chairman of the Ettrick and Yarrow Community Council, said the road had been the center of the community for some time.

He added: ‘The Captain’s Road has been there for a long time and when the community decided to flag it up and resurface a section, discussions with landowners were favourable.

‘We wanted to encourage people to visit the area and either walk or cycle the route between Tushielaw and St Mary’s Loch – there are some spectacular views.’

“Something happened and I don’t know what, but lately there have been constant barriers to prevent people from using the route.

“The latest is that they are planting saplings over the priority road and not offering alternative routes – those saplings quickly become big trees and it’s impossible to walk or cycle there.”

The road is named after a Napoleonic War captain named Napier, who bought and worked the same hills in the early 1800s.

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