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Frequently Asked Questions

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Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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No, although the Countryside and Rights of Way Act creates new legal rights of access it does not give blanket permission to walk wherever you want.  The new Act will give people access to over four million acres of mountain, heath, moor, down and common land throughout England and Wales.

The Countryside Agency and the Countryside Council for Wales will draw up maps which will show the new rights of access. It is being brought in gradually and in some places it is already in force. See website in related information for details of the area you live in.  Additionally the new ordnance survey maps will show new rights of access which will be distributed locally. 

There are responsibilities and restrictions that come along with the Act.  It does not allow,

  • camping and organised games
  • damaging plants and animals
  • dropping litter and lighting fires
  • bathing in non tidal water

Anyone breaking a restriction will be classed as a trespasser and will not be allowed to re enter the land for 72 hours.  Under the Act, as you would imagine, people are responsible for their own safety at all times. 

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.