Open Access in Suffolk

The new access rights created by the Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000 were launched in Suffolk on 31st October 2005. From this date areas mapped as open access are available for open air recreation on foot.

Suffolk County Council is the relevant authority to enable and manage open access. The CROW Act provides the authority to make bylaws, appoint wardens, erect and maintain notices and improve means of access.

The areas mapped are either open country, which the act has classified as mountain, moor, heath or down, or are registered common land. In Suffolk the relevant land type is heath, which is why the main areas of land are in the Brecks and on the coast where the remaining heathland in the county is concentrated. There is also open access land that has been dedicated by the landowner.

Because low lying heath is now a rare habitat many of these sites are also Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and are protected. If you are visiting open access land please be careful not to disturb any of the wildlife. There are many ways to enjoy access land such as taking a walk, having a picnic or flying a kite but please make sure that what you are doing is appropriate for the site and will not cause any damage.

On many of the larger sites Suffolk County Council has provided signs at the access points which give some information about open access and include a map to help you find your way. All of the sites which have exclusions or extended restrictions on them have signs to show when the areas are open.

You may also see the open access symbol showing you where you can go or the end of open access symbol marking the edge of the site.