In May 2005, the public gained a new right of access to the countryside, on land designated by the Countryside Council for Wales as 'Access Land'. This includes 'open country' which is defined as 'mountain, moor, heath and down' and all registered Common Land. The new access gives people the right to carry out many recreational activities that can be undertaken on foot, including walking, running, bird watching and picnicking; however no additional rights of access have been given to horse-riders, cyclists or vehicular users.
In addition to Common Land and designated 'open country', the Forestry Commission has dedicated most of the land within its control as Access Land. Due to its largely upland nature, Powys has a higher than average proportion of Access Land, with 150,000 hectares being classified as such. This equates to 29% of the land mass of Powys.
The best way to find the location of Access Land, is to purchase an OS map. On these maps Access Land is shown by a yellow colour wash. Or for more information contact the Countryside Council for Wales.
The Access Land within Powys is managed by Countryside Services. However, land falling within the Brecon Beacons National Park is managed by the Park Authority directly.
Following the designation of Access Land, Powys County Council set up a Countryside Wardens Team comprising of a Head Warden and three Area Wardens, one for each shire.
The Countryside Wardens provide advice to landholders and the public on their rights and responsibilities. They also undertake work programmes to secure access to and from areas of Access Land and erect waymarks to show where the new right of access can be enjoyed.
To contact the Countryside Wardens Team please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01597 827500 for more information.
Telephone: 01597 827500