OpenFields

Access to the countryside

Access to the countryside is managed to the extent that potentially conflicting uses of the land can co-exist. Increased pressure of public access can compromise the use of the land for agricultural production and for conservation and biodiversity. However, access to land by the public for recreational purposes is important for health and social well-being as well as supporting the rural tourism economy. Public initiatives promote countryside access for educational benefit, encourage use by ethnicminority groups and facilitate access for those with disability.

Access to the countryside is typically governed by statute and bye-laws e.g. for public footpaths, bridleways and designated Open Access Land under the Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000. Access agreements, negotiated with farmers and land owners under stewardship and other schemes, provide an additional resource in lowland and predominantly agricultural landscapes where pressure for access is greater. The National Trust is an example of a major land owner that has traditionally provided free access to large, mainly upland, areas.

Practical management for access to the countryside involves the construction and maintenance of paths, all-ability trails, fences, gates and styles and the production of countryside interpretation notices and materials.

The Openfields library holds materials on usage statistics, practical management and health and safety.

A sample of Items held in the Access to the countryside category

There are currently no subcategories in the Access to the countryside section.

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The OpenFields Library is a free online library contains items of interest to practitioners and researchers in the agricultural and landbased industries.