Open access land

Open access land is the term used for land in England that you can access without having to use paths, including mountains, moors, heaths and downs that are privately owned. It also includes common land registered with the council and some land around the England Coast Path.

You can use open access land at any time for walking, running, climbing, bird watching or picnicking, except when local restrictions are in place. Your right to access this land is called the ‘right to roam’ or ‘freedom to roam’.

Barnsley’s open access land 

  • Broad Hill Bank, Dunford Bridge
  • Tinker Hill, Dunford Bridge
  • Lower Whitley Edge, Crow Edge
  • Upper Whitley / Shiner Hill, Crow Edge
  • Broadstones Reservoir, Maythorn
  • Sledbrook Hill, Crow Edge
  • Carr House Bank, Millhouse Green
  • Royd Moor Reservoir, Ingbirchworth
  • High Bank Quarry / High Bank, Thurlstone / Millhouse Green
  • Hartcliff Hill, Hartcliff
  • Bingley Plantation, Millhouse Green
  • Brockholes / The Brow, Hartcliff
  • Black Moor Common, Thurgoland
  • Isle of Skye Quarry, Hunshelf
  • Wharncliffe Chase, Wortley

Check the Natural England website for more information on ‘open access land’.

Restrictions on open access land

Dogs must be kept on a two metre lead between 1 March and 31 July, or throughout the year where there is livestock. On areas of grouse moor, dogs may be excluded completely.

On open access land you cannot:

  • Camp
  • Swim
  • Use boats or windsurfers
  • Remove anything from the area (stone, fallen wood or plants)
  • Light fires or barbecues
  • Hang-glide or paraglide
  • Use metal detectors
  • Take part in commercial activities

There are no new rights to ride a horse, cycle, or drive a vehicle. 

Landowners may restrict the use of open access land for 28 days a year for any reason or apply to Natural England for longer restrictions. Public rights of way won't be affected.