Open Country
Open Country is a designation used for some UK access land.

It was first defined under the 1949 National Parks Act
National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949
The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which created the National Parks Commission which later became the Countryside Commission and then the Countryside Agency, which became Natural England when it merged with English Nature in...

 (and extended by the 1968 Countryside Act), and was land over which an appropriate access agreement had been made. In particular significant upland areas of the northern Peak District
Peak District
The Peak District is an upland area in central and northern England, lying mainly in northern Derbyshire, but also covering parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, and South and West Yorkshire....

, where there had been much dispute over access prior to World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, were so designated (see Mass trespass of Kinder Scout
Mass trespass of Kinder Scout
thumb|left|North flank of Kinder ScoutThe mass trespass of Kinder Scout was a notable act of willful trespass by ramblers. It was undertaken at Kinder Scout, Derbyshire, in the Peak District of England, on 24 April 1932, to highlight that walkers in England and Wales were denied access to areas of...


The term is also used in the 2000 CRoW Act to describe 'areas of mountain, moor, heath and down' that are generally available for access under that Act. (It appears that the rights conferred by this new definition are in general less comprehensive than those conferred under the 1949 Act, but will apply to a wider area).

The Countryside Agency
Countryside Agency
The Countryside Agency in England was a statutory body set up in 1999 with the task of improving the quality of the rural environment and the lives of those living in it. The Agency was formed by merging the Countryside Commission and the Rural Development Commission...

's publication 'Managing Public Access' appears to envisage that most land originally designated under the 1949 Act will in due course receive redesignation under the CRoW Act, as the original access agreements lapse.
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