Article: Countryside Access and Environmental Protection: An American View of Britain’s Right to Roam

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The right to roam adopted in the UK as part of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 increased the public’s ability to use private lands, some of which include sensitive natural resources. This paper first compares UK public access law to that the US, including constitutional limitations. The paper then analyses the historical, cultural, and legal differences that result in the two countries’ divergent views on how to provide for countryside access. Finally, the paper will compare US and UK mechanisms to protect the environment while providing for public recreation.

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