Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
All common land is privately owned. However the public do have statutory rights of access on Bodmin Moor registered common land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CRoW) Act 2000. The public have a right of access for recreation on foot, this includes activities like walking, sightseeing, bird watching, climbing and running.
The Commons Act 2006
Includes reinforcing existing protections against abuse. The Commons Act 2006 introduces new, clearer measures for protecting common land.
Schedule 9 of the Act amends SSSI provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, including provisions to change SSSIs and provide increased powers for their protection and management. The provisions extend powers for entering into management agreements; place a duty on public bodies to further the conservation and enhancement of SSSIs; increases penalties on conviction where the provisions are breached; and introduce a new offence whereby third parties can be convicted for damaging SSSIs.
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Natural England has a legal responsibility to ensure that any SSSI is protected and managed effectively. The Act also dictates that all public bodies should take reasonable steps to further the conservation and enhancement of the features of interest on SSSIs.
The CRoW Act strengthened wildlife enforcement legislation, and provided for better management of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Restricting Access to Common Land
The owner of Common lands are entitled to give notice restricting access to common land for up to 28 days each year without application.
Anyone who uses the land has a responsibility to take normal precautions to prevent damage or danger to land or livestock. In the event of a disease outbreak, inspectors (Animal & Plant Health Agency, Cornwall Council Trading Standards) may have the power to prohibit entry on to any land within designated areas. In cases where the power is used to prohibit entry to designated areas, this power would, incidentally, enable the prohibition of entry on to any land to which the public have a right of access situated within the designated area.
The Right of Access
To make sure the privacy of people who live and work on land covered by the right of access is protected, land that it is used for some specified purposes, for instance as a garden, park, cultivated land, or land covered by buildings will not be included in the right of access. Land used for these, and other purposes, is known as ‘excepted land’ and the right of access does not apply to it.
- Cultivated land
- Land covered by buildings
- Land within 20 metres of a dwelling
- Land used as a park or garden
- Land used for the getting of minerals by surface working including quarrying
- Land for the purpose of a railway, or tramway
- A golf course
- Land covered by works used for the purposes of a statutory undertaking (utilities) or telecommunications system
- Land within 20 metres of a livestock building unless it is a means of access to access land
- Land regulated by bylaws under s14 of the military lands act 1892 or s2 of the military lands act 1900
A further category of excepted land is land covered by pens in use for the temporary reception or detention of livestock.
Other activities, however, are covered by restrictions excluding them from the right of access. Unless the landowner or occupier gives their permission for these activities to be carried out, anyone engaging in any of these activities on CROW access land will be trespassing AND /OR committing a criminal offence