Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW), the public can walk freely on mapped areas of mountain, moor, heath, downland and registered common land without having to stick to paths.
People across England now have approximately 865,000 hectares of land across which they can walk, ramble, run, explore, climb and watch wildlife as they are given the freedom to access land, without having to stay on paths.
The new rights, for which people have been campaigning for over 100 years, came into effect across all of England on 31 October 2005.
Please note these restrictions apply to all open access land:
At all times of the year dogs must be kept on a short lead (no more than two metres) in the vicinity of livestock.
The CRoW Act allows a landowner or farm tenant to exclude or restrict access at their discretion in certain circumstances.
Use of these powers must be notified to the Open Access Contact Centre:
For Section 23 restrictions on grouse moors – at least one calendar month in advance
For Section 22 restrictions (28 day allowance) – at least five working days in advance unless the restriction relates to no more than 5 hectares of land and lasts for no more than 5 days or it relates to any area of land for no more than 4 hours.
New sign for protecting ground nesting birds
Download the template: (32kb) for land managers, requesting that dogs are kept on leads, for use on access land.
Consultations: Have your say on decisions to restrict CROW Access land
Appeals: Find out more about appeals against the Relevant Authority decisions
Fire Severity: Further details on how we are working with the Met office to manage fire restrictions on CROW Access land.
Dedications: How to dedicate land for public access
Section 15 land: Identifying land with rights of access set up before CROW
CROW Map review project: A detailed mapping review project is being undertaken as part of the Countryside and Right of Way Act 2000.
Open Access Monitoring Reports: Reports monitoring the impact of CROW access.
Welcome to OASYS
The processing system for Open Access restrictions.
Open Access Contact Centre
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Tel: 0845 1003298