Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

There are five parts to the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CROW Act):

  • Part 1 deals with access to the countryside, also known as the 'right to roam' or 'freedom to roam'
  • Part 2 makes changes to the way in which rights of way are recorded, maintained, enforced, managed and promoted.
  • Part 3 strengthens nature conservation measures and wildlife protection
  • Part 4 relates to areas of outstanding natural beauty
  • Part 5 sets up Local Access Forums

Visit the Natural England website for further information on CROW as well as details of the new Countryside Code and general information and advice about enjoying access to the countryside.

Open Access Land

Part 1 of the CROW Act provides for the public to have access, on foot, to open country and registered common land in England and Wales.

The Act defines open country as mountain, moor, heath and down. York has no mountains or downland. One area of open access land (heath) known as Strensall Common has been identified. (Strensall Common is subject to military byelaws and as such access is restricted). Areas of registered common land that have been opened up for increased public access are also identified. See the Natural England website website for details of this access.

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