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0345 678 9000

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Shropshire Council
Abbey Foregate

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Open access land

The right of public access to 'access land' began in Shropshire and the west of England on the 31 October 2005.

Part 1 of the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000 has created a new right to walk on 'access land' for the purpose of open-air recreation.

Members of the public are now able to walk, climb, birdwatch, sightsee, picnic and run on land where they see the access symbol. The symbol has been installed at the boundary of access land.

Open country and registered common land

Access land consists of areas of open country and registered common land.

  • Open country (OC) is defined as being an area comprised wholly or predominantly of mountain, moor, heath or down
  • Registered common land (RCL) is land recorded on the Commons Register held by the county and city authorities under the Commons Registration Act 1965

In Shropshire, we have 6998 hectares of open country and registered common land, which makes up 2.2% of the total land area of the county. Of this:

  • 2277.5 hectares is open country
  • 4720.5 hectares is registered common land

Private land dedicated as open access

Private landowners also have the opportunity to dedicate their land as open access land under Section 16 of the CRoW Act 2000.

Shropshire Council is the first local authority in the country to dedicate their own sites under Section 16, with eight Countryside Heritage sites, covering 184 hectares, now being dedicated.

The Forestry Commission have also taken a lead, and have dedicated over 3000 hectares of woodland in the county.


Outdoor Recreation
via Customer Service Centre 0345 678 9000
Last updated: 21 September 2016 Print this page

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