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Open Access, Countryside Dog Walking

Open Access

Open Access is land where you have the right to roam freely without having to stay to set paths, such as public rights of way. 

In Suffolk, there are 2 main areas of Open Access land; the Brecks, on either side of the A11 between Barton Mills and Thetford, and the east between Woodbridge and Southwold. All sites are clearly shown on OS Maps. In addition, the Forestry Commission has dedicated Thetford, Rendlesham, Tunstall and Dunwich Forests as Open Access land.

For more information on Open Access visit Natural England's Open Access website.

Taking your dog on a public right of way or open access land

Dogs are allowed on public rights of way, but they must be kept under close control in the vicinity of livestock. This is generally taken to mean on a lead or easily called to heel. You should also remember that, just like the person walking with them, they only have a right to be on the right of way and not to run off on to private land or cause a nuisance to wildlife or livestock.

You may take a dog onto Open Access land but between 1st March and 31st July it must be kept on a fixed lead less than two metres long. This is to protect wildlife during the breeding season. Some sites are also closed completely during summer months because the wildlife that is present is particularly sensitive to disturbance. Notices at the entrances to the site will explain this.

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Area served
All Suffolk

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Age Groups
Adults, Young people
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