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Rights of way and wider access

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We develop policy and guidance to enable people, regardless of their means and abilities, to access the outdoors for recreation.

Wales is increasingly being seen internationally as a quality recreation destination.

We have:

  • around 20,500 miles (33,000 km) of public rights of way - the rules and procedures governing rights of way are set out under a complex set of legislation.  These cover walkers, cyclists, horse riders, carriage drivers and motor vehicle users. 
  • 460,000 hectares of access land - Part 1 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 came into force in Wales in May 2005.  It led to one fifth of the country being mapped as accessible to walkers. For more information visit the Natural Resources for Wales website (external link). 
  • 1,200 miles of the National Cycle Network - for more information visit the Sustrans website (external link).
  • approximately 370 miles of mountain bike trails - for further information visit the Visit Wales website (external link). 

Relevant Acts

National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 (external link)

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (external link)

Highways Act 1980 (external link)

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (external link)