The Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000 (Part 1) came into effect across England in 2005. The Act provides a new right of open access allowing people to walk freely over areas of mapped open country (mountain, moor, heath, down) and registered common land.
The National Open Access Monitoring Programme was set up to evaluate the long-term impact of implementing the new access rights.
The National Open Access Visitor Survey (NOAVS) 2006 – 2008 represents one of the largest elements of the monitoring programme. It was set up to provide site specific and spatial use data of actual users of Access Land. The monitoring techniques developed and tested are to be used to guide the development of standard on-site visitor monitoring approaches and the findings guide integrated access management best practice that can be used to deliver wider Access & Engagement outcomes.
The findings have already been used to inform the reassessment of restrictions on specific sites of biodiversity and land management concern to understand whether positive access management or statutory restrictions are proving effective in protecting sensitive habitats and species to access. The findings are to also inform future Open Access regulation, communication activity and integrated access delivery. The implementation of the Coastal Access programme and the development of its evaluation and monitoring framework will also be informed.
This report is being published as part of a package of reports relating to monitoring the impacts of (CROW) Act 2000 (Part 1). These include:
Executive Summary, Communications and Access Management Commissioned Reports of the NOAVS (2006 to 2008) published in three parts NECR036a, NECR036b and NECR036c;
Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) Pilot Study (2006) NECR040; and
Upland Breeding Bird Survey (UBBS) (2007) NECR041.