Open Access Land

With the increase of walkers along the river banks, Members should be aware that some of our water is within Open Access Land and the general public have every right to be there.

The meadows from Dorchester/Charminster Road up to Cuckoo Pound, are Open Access Land. Above this and to Gascoyne Bridge is private land and the public have no right of way.

What Can They Do

  • walk
  • sightsee
  • bird-watch
  • climb
  • run

There’s a general rule that visitors using their open access rights must keep dogs on a short lead of no more than 2 metres between 1 March and 31 July each year (except in the coastal margin) and at all times near livestock.

What Can’t They Do

  • ride a horse or bicycle
  • drive a vehicle (unless it is an invalid carriage)
  • bring an animal, other than a dog
  • camp
  • play organised games
  • hang-glide or paraglide
  • use a metal detector
  • run commercial activities on the land such as:
    trade or sell
    charge other visitors for things they do on your land
    film, photograph or make maps
  • remove, damage, or destroy any plant, shrub, tree or root with intent
  • light, cause or risk a fire
  • damage hedges, fences, walls, crops or anything else on the land
  • leave gates open, that are not propped or fastened open
  • leave litter
  • disturb livestock, wildlife or habitats with intent
  • post any notices
  • commit any criminal offence

For more details and explanations please visit the Governments website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/open-access-land-management-rights-and-responsibilities

For a map showing the area please visit and search for Dorchester http://www.openaccess.naturalengland.org.uk/wps/portal

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