Last edited 07 Apr 2021

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, also known as the CRoW Act, is a UK Act of Parliament that was intended to improve public access to the countryside and registered common land while recognising the legitimate interests of the owners or managers of the land concerned.

The Act implemented the ‘right to roam’ on certain areas of uncultivated land and upland in England and Wales, the extent of which was implemented gradually as new maps were produced. In addition to registered common land, the Act refers to ‘open access land’ or ‘mountain, moor, heath and down’.

The Act lists restrictions on the public when on this land, including not damaging hedges, fences, walls, etc., not leaving gates open, not developing the land, and so on.

Land that is exempt from the Act includes:

Land covered by the Act can be developed subject to local planning authority approval. Natural England should be contacted if development plans are expected to affect land that is registered as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

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