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Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000


This act governs access to the UK countryside, covering four main areas: Access to Open Country, Public Rights of Way, Nature Conservation and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The act gives the public statutory access to parts of the countryside, called “access land.” The nature conservation aspects of the act strengthen legislation protecting Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and also cover the legal requirements of government and local authorities when working on such sites. In terms of NWFP, this act legislates for harvesters’right access to many sites and protects designated sites from harvesting.

Clauses within CRoW Act relevant to NWFP sector:

2 Rights of public in relation to access land.

(1)Any person is entitled by virtue of this subsection to enter and remain on any access land for the purposes of open-air recreation, if and so long as:

(a)he does so without breaking or damaging any wall, fence, hedge, stile or gate, and

(b)he observes the general restrictions in Schedule 2 and any other restrictions imposed in relation to the land under Chapter II.

(Please see full legislation for definition of ”access land” and information on Schedule 2 and Chapter II).

26 Nature conservation and heritage preservation.

(1)The relevant authority may by direction exclude or restrict access by virtue of section 2(1) to any land during any period if they are satisfied that the exclusion or restriction of access by virtue of section 2(1) to the extent provided by the direction is necessary for either of the purposes specified in subsection (3).

(Please see full legislation for list of reasons for access restrictions to a particular site.)

74 Conservation of biological diversity.

(1)It is the duty of”

(a)any Minister of the Crown (within the meaning of the Ministers of the M1Crown Act 1975),

(b)any Government department, and

(c)the National Assembly for Wales,

in carrying out his or its functions, to have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biological diversity in accordance with the Convention.

(Please see full legislation for information on bring the UN Environmental Programme Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) into UK law.)

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Full reference
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

Year 2000
Policy area Forestry
Affected activity Harvesting/Production
Affected actors Landowner/land manager, Picker/harvester/hunter
Products Mushrooms/truffles, Bark/cork, Berries, Nuts, Fruits, Other NWFP
Subject NWFP, Nature conservation, Access
Promoter/initiator Public
Zone North West Europe
Countries United Kingdom
Regions (NUTS 2) West Wales and The Valleys
Focus on NWFP Direct
Document category
Instrument type Regulatory
Legal status Binding
Geographical scope National
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