Further to my enquiries (see here and here) about how I, as a member of the public, find out about access to ‘open access’ land in the uplands I have received this email from the Peak District National Park:
Thank you for your email and for providing a link to your blog.
The restriction at Derwent Moors is a restriction at the landowners’ discretion provided for by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. Section 22 of the Act sets out that this is available for one or more days up to a maximum of 28 days but not on a bank or public holiday, any Saturday from 1st June to 11th August, any Sunday from 1st June to 30 September or on more than 4 Saturdays or Sundays in any calendar year.
The restriction does not apply to public rights of way nor, in this case with the landowner’s agreement, to the concession paths which run along the top of Derwent Edge and Stanage Edge. We are currently mapping concession paths throughout the National Park, so we can look to show these paths on the site notice as and when we are notified of future restrictions.
I note from your previous enquiries on your blog, that it was not possible for confirmation to be given that there would be no further restrictions on this land.
To my knowledge, other than the annual discretionary restrictions during the months of May to June and the restrictions relating to the exclusion of dogs, there have been no formal restrictions on this land excluding the public since the introduction of open access land in September 2004.
Furthermore, any applications to restrict access received under the Act would have to be considered necessary for the purposes of land management or in relation to public safety including having regard to the extent to which the 28 days already available under section 22 has been exercised.
As things stand, it therefore seems unlikely that any applications would be made or granted for further closures on this land over and above the discretionary 28 days noted above.
So that is quite helpful. It seems to be possible, generally, that once a land manager has used up their 28 days discretionary closures they can still apply for further closures for the purposes of land management or in relation to public safety. In this particular case the Peak District NP couldn’t rule out that such an application might be made but on the basis of past experience thought it unlikely – and it might or might not be approved.
I wonder what experience others have had in getting access to ‘open access’ land in England – particularly in the uplands and particularly on driven grouse moors? And things are different in Scotland.