CRoW: restrictions

A variety of restrictions and exclusions may be applied to CRoW access land for varying periods of time.

Restrictions are where a limit is placed on the right of access under the CRoW Act, eg. excluding dogs or allowing access only along a designated linear route. An exclusion means that the statutory right of access is removed completely for the period concerned. It is important to note that that these restrictions cannot be applied to public rights of way or land that is not open access land under the CRoW Act.

These restrictions may be applied for the reasons listed below, prompted by the land owner or tenant, the relevant authority or the Secretary of State. The relevant authority is the National Park Authority for land within a National Park or the Forestry Commission for dedicated woodland. On other sorts of land the Countryside Agency in England and the Countryside Council for Wales in Wales are the relevant authorities.

The BMC (and other organisations) and any relevant Local Access Forum must be consulted on any proposed long-term restrictions, that is those lasting six months or more. Restrictions notices should be placed on entry points to CRoW access land by the land manager where they have applied for a restriction or by the local access authority (National Park Authority or highway authority) where no application has been made. It is an offence under the CRoW Act to place false or misleading signs.

28 Day Discretionary Restrictions (CRoW Act Section 22)
Land owners or farm tenants may restrict the access under CRoW for any reason for up to 28 days per year. These 28 days may not be Christmas Day, Good Friday, Bank Holidays or
more than four Saturdays or Sundays in total,
any Saturday in the period starting 1st June to 11th August,
any Sunday in the period starting 1st June to 30th September.

Discretionary Restrictions for Grouse Moors and Lambing Enclosures (Section 23)
Land owners or farm tenants may also restrict the right of access so that you may not take dogs with you:-
onto moors managed for breeding and shooting grouse (for up to five years),
or into fields or enclosures of not more than 15 hectares used for lambing (for not more than six weeks in any calendar year).
These do not apply to guide dogs for blind persons or hearing dogs for deaf persons.

Restrictions for Land Management (Section 24)
Anyone with a legal interest (eg. owners, commoners, tenants, those holding 'sporting' rights) on CRoW access land may apply to the relevant authority for a restriction if it is necessary for management of the land. The relevant authority will then decide whether to grant the restriction or exclusion.

Restrictions for Public Safety (Section 25)
Anyone with a legal interest may apply to restrict access to CRoW access land for reasons of danger to the public. The relevant authority will then decide whether to grant the restriction or exclusion. Relevant authorities may themselves make such restrictions without receiving an application from a land owner, but this is unlikely except in extreme circumstances.

Restrictions for Fire Risk (Section 25)
Anyone with a legal interest may apply to restrict access to CRoW access land for reasons of risk of fire. The relevant authority may also make such restrictions - the decision in these cases is based on a fire risk model developed by the relevant authorities and the Met Office.

Restrictions for Nature Conservation and Heritage Preservation
(Section 26)
A relevant authority may restrict or exclude access to conserve important flora, fauna, geological or physiographical features or to preserve scheduled Ancient Monuments and other heritage sites. The relevant authorities will seek advice from English Nature, English Heritage or Countryside Council for Wales as appropriate.

Restrictions for Defence or National Security (Section 28)
The Secretary of State may restrict or exclude access to CRoW access land for the purposes of defence or national security.



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