Good morning.

A question regarding access. Assuming a Common is designated open access what is the position regarding an organised orienteering competition, ie do they have to have owners consent or can they rely on the open access?

I look forward to your thoughts.


It is my understanding that unless the event is entirely on public rights of way including all ancillary activities such as check points or medical support, then  access under the CROW act does not give the right to play organised games. An orienteering competition will fall under this category.  If people wish to organise and participate in these activities they should seek the permission of the land owner – which is good practice and to be encouraged at all times for all events.  Also there may be issues if  the common is a SSSI or under an agri-environment agreement and Natural England may want to have a say and shold be informed.

The playing of games by local people may be allowed.

For more information I suggest you look at the Common Land Toolkit

on the question of events on common land, is there any obligation to inform/get permission from the commoners?