Rights of way

Does the public come on to your land?

Whether you are having problems with members of the public straying on to your land, want advice on how to prevent the creation of a right of way or need to find out your responsibility for existing public rights of way, stiles and gates – you should be a member of the CLA.

Do you have a current problem?

Many landowners join the CLA to ask for impartial professional advice, to clarify where the law stands and to prevent expensive and often unnecessary court actions. Common areas of concern include:

  • public rights of way claims
  • diversions of public rights of way
  • coastal paths and coastal access 
  • dangers from livestock
  • liability for trees
  • access to rivers
  • creation of village greens
  • travellers
  • raves
  • public liability
  • boundary disputes 
  • public access to private areas

With nearly 100,000 miles of public paths in England alone, the public rights of way network is complex and neither fits the needs of the public for good countryside walks, nor the needs of landowners. Do you know, for example, that you could be liable for trees that may be deemed dangerous to passers-by? You also need to be aware of the duties owed to people coming on to your land, regardless of the size or nature of your land, and that if you allow others to cross your land on a regular basis you could be creating a formal public right of way (for all the world to use).

Free advice for members

If you become a member of the CLA you will receive free, independent professional advice – advice which is aimed at achieving the early and successful resolution of your problem and which normally far outweighs your cost of membership. (For many members the annual subscription costs less than one hour of a professional’s time.)

CLA’s in-house team advises on land use, planning, legal and tax matters and our advisers are experts in their field; in addition, there are surveyors and regional advisers throughout the regions to help you at local level.

As well as the advice CLA members can access, the majority of members – whether they own a single acre or a thousand – benefit from our continuous work to raise the public access concerns of landowners and rural business to all levels of Government in England and Wales.

There is a constant threat of increased public access on to private land and the CLA is at the forefront in lobbying to stop it; we are also currently working hard for a simplified system of public access suited to the 21st century.


Protecting your best interests

The CLA is the only organisation working to influence Government solely on behalf of owners of rural land, property and business. There are many other organisations spending millions on lobbying to pursue their own agendas and all landowners, from the smallest acreage to the largest estate, need to act together vigorously to defend our interests. Nobody is doing more than the CLA to manage the impact on the value of land – both in the short and long term.


Anyone who owns rural land will benefit from joining the CLA

We are effective at influencing decision-makers at national and local levels including ensuring that there is a sensible approach to public access on private land. As a CLA member you can add your voice. In addition, you can receive advice and support that will help protect and enhance your assets.

Whatever the value of your rural land, business and property interests, the CLA subscription represents only a fraction of its true value and is your best insurance for the future.