The BMC has launched a report looking at the effects of the CROW Act over the last four years.
The Report reviews the implementation of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CROW) in England. It looks at the legislative approach taken in England in relation to:
• Changes in levels of recreational use of open access land;
• Potential impacts of open access on wildlife;
• Use of the restrictions system embodied in the legislation; and
• Any other significant issues or problems arising from increased public access.
The report has found that while there is considerable overlap between sites of major conservation interest and their popularity for recreational access (particularly in England), there has proved to be less need to use the restrictive provisions of the CROW Act to safeguard wildlife interests than might have been expected.
Significantly, the emphasis has moved from restriction to the reconciliation of these potentially competing interests through a range of collaborative management schemes. This trend has been recognized in relation to one previously contentious topic - disturbance to bird populations. The outstanding problem in England is likely to be ensuring that adequate funding is available to help access authorities manage open access on the ground.
A copy of the detailed report can be downloaded here.
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