This is the first Annual Monitoring Report on the effect of the new public open access rights that came into effect in 2004 and 2005 under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW).
These rights typically allow people to walk freely over areas of registered common land or open country (mountain, moor, heath or down).
Although the Act made provision for local restrictions on access where necessary, the Report shows that at most times of year, 99% of eligible land remains open for public use. Despite linear rights of way being a more familiar way to enjoy the countryside, two thirds of the visitors to this land had heard of open access rights.
The report summarises a series of studies undertaken under this monitoring programme, and sets a baseline against which the findings of future monitoring work can be compared.