CROW sign at Naddles Crag copyright Michael Turner

CROW Act

Countryside and Rights of Way Act

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW) provides further access opportunities to the open countryside. We are actively working with partners to ensure the successful implementation of the Act.

From 28 May 2005 people were given new rights to walk on access land (mountain, moor, heath, down and registered common land). This important legislation:

  • gives people greater freedom to explore open country on foot
  • creates a duty for Highway Authorities and National Park Authorities to establish Local Access Forums
  • provides a cut-off date of 1 January 2026 for the recording of certain rights of way on definitive maps and the extinguishment of those not so recorded by that date
  • offers greater protection to wildlife and natural features, better protection for Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and more effective enforcement of wildlife legislation
  • protects Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty with legislation similar to that for National Parks

What does it mean for walkers and visitors?

If you're coming to visit, our Open Access and CROW page may be helpful.

Online applications by land managers for access restrictions

The Countryside Agency provides a range of online services for land managers and case officers. You can register land, apply for restrictions, or track the progress of your actions. Click on the links on the website (opens in new window).

Useful links

All open in a new window: