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Wildlife and Countryside

Homepage > Wildlife & countryside > Landscape protection, recreation & public access > Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000

Landscape protection, recreation and public access: Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW)

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (also known as CROW) will extend the public's ability to enjoy the countryside whilst also providing safeguards for landowners and occupiers. It will create a new statutory right of access to open country and registered common land, modernise the rights of way system, give greater protection to Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), provide better management arrangements for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), and strengthen wildlife enforcement legislation.

The Act received Royal Assent on 30 November 2000. Certain provisions came into force on 30 January 2001 (see section 103), but the remaining provisions will not come into force until the Secretary of State has made commencement orders giving effect to them.

This page provides links to current and archived information relating to the implementation of the Act in England. For information about implementation of the Act in Wales, please see the website of The National Assembly for Wales.

You can find out more about the implementation of the Act in England by following one of the links below.

Access to open country

Part I of the Act creates a new right of access to open country and registered common land.

Rights of way

Part II of the Act modernises the law on public rights of way.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Part III of the Act gives greater protection to sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs), and strengthens wildlife protection.

AONB Conservation Boards

Part IV of the Act provides new powers to set up Conservation Boards for the better management of areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs), and requires certain bodies to have regard for AONBs when doing anything which would affect the land in those areas.

Local Access Forums

Part V of the Act requires local highway authorities or, where relevant, National Park authorities to establish Local Access Forums as advisory bodies.

List of habitats and species important to biological diversity in England

Section 74 of the Act lists habitats and species of principal importance for the conservation of biological diversity in England.

Vehicular access over common land and registration of town and village greens

Section 68 of the Act provides new powers to regulate access to premises by motor vehicles across common land, village greens etc. Section 98 of the Act clarifies the definition of town and village green contained in the Commons Registration Act 1965.

Background to the Act

Countryside and Rights of Way Act: Fact Sheets

You can see the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, in the form in which it received Royal Assent, and the Explanatory Notes to the Act, on the HMSO legislation web site.

DETR Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 Circular 04/2001

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (Commencement No.1) Order 2001

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (Commencement No. 2) Order 2002

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (Commencement No. 3) Order 2002

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (Commencement No. 4) Order 2004

 

Page last modified: 20 December 2006

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs