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Could the procedure for mapping public access land under the Access to the Countryside Regulations breach human rights? William Batstone reports

9 August 2002

The Access to the Countryside (Provisional and Conclusive Maps) (England) Regulations 2002 came into force on 29 July 2002. The enervating name disguises provisions of the utmost importance for owners of land in England likely to be affected by the access provisions contained in Part I of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. They require urgent attention and first port of call for anybody concerned should be the Countryside Agency’s excellent website found at www.countryside.gov.uk/access. This article provides a reminder of the access provisions in the 2000 Act; a summary of the mapping process that will be completed under the 2002 Regulations; and a warning of possible trouble ahead. Background Section 2(1) of the 2000 Act provides for the right of access in these terms: “Any person is entitled by virtue of this subsection to enter and remain on any access land for the purposes of open-air recreation, if and so long as - (a) he does so without brea...

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