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4. Access private land

You may be able to access private land if the landowner has agreed to let people use it, eg for walking, cycling or horse riding (sometimes known as giving ‘permissive access’).

Some land with permissive access is closed at certain times of the year to protect sensitive sites, eg when rare birds are nesting.

You can usually take your dog on permissive access land, but it must be kept on a short (2m or less) lead at all times. Dogs may not be allowed at certain times, eg during lambing season.

Search for farms with access for schools, families and other groups.

Search for land of outstanding scenic or scientific interest, including land with permissive access, in the HM Revenue and Customs directory.

If you want to access land that’s been made private for safety reasons

Keep to the footpaths, bridleways, byways or other rights of way on land that’s been made private for public safety or to protect the people living or working there (sometimes known as ‘excepted land’).

Examples of excepted land include land that is used to grow food or used for railways or golf courses.