English Nature (now Natural England) and the Countryside Council for Wales commissioned The Wildlife and Access Advisory Group Guidance 2001 (Penny Anderson Associates, 2001), in response to the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CRoW).
The aim was to provide a scientific tool to help identify the potential impacts of access to enable measures to be put in place to secure the reconciliation of both access and nature conservation objectives. The findings were used to undertake appropriate assessments when CRoW open access was being implemented in England and Wales.
The findings are now being published so that they can be used by authorities responsible for implementing new access projects or managing existing access and assessing the likely effects.
The information is intended to contribute to decisions and judgements made as part of an overall assessment process, but may also be used by conservation organisations and land managers who are considering the need to apply for, or remove, statutory exclusions or restrictions.
The report is a collation of available scientific research into the effects of access on nature conservation, undertaken up to 2001. It should be used in tandem with the supplementary 2008 report. It does not provide prescriptive solutions to perceived problems, but identifies those circumstances where nature conservation interests may trigger consideration of appropriate action.