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Open access land

footpath in open access land

Areas of open access are spaces where you can wander away from the path, explore, have a picnic or play games. This land is for walkers only, though you can cycle or ride across it if you're following a bridleway. 

Open access land in Nottinghamshire

We have almost 80 areas of open access land in the county, ranging from small village greens to larger areas over 17 hectares (42 acres).

Some of the best to visit include:

  • Budby Heath, off the A616 near Budby
  • Rainworth Heath, off the A617 near Rainworth
  • Car Colston Common, off the A46 at Car Colston North
  • South Holmes, Trent riverside, near Sutton-on-Trent.


View the green spaces and open access land maps to see key sites.

All types of access land are shown on Ordnance Survey Explorer maps.
Download our guide to Ordnance Survey maps for Nottinghamshire.

The rules

On open access land you can:

  • walk freely without needing to follow the path
  • watch wildlife Stop for a picnic
  • fly a kite. 

But please remember not to:

  • ride a horse or bicycle (unless on a bridleway crossing access land)
  • drive a motor vehicle
  • camp, light fires or use a metal detector
  • wander close to property - to protect the privacy of people who live and work on access land there is a 20m exclusion zone around properties and buildings containing livestock.
  • dogs are welcome on access land but please follow these simple guidelines:
  • keep your dog on a lead shorter than two metres between 1 March and 31 July (to protect ground nesting birds)
  • always keep your dog on a short lead in the vicinity of livestock
  • please always clean up after your dog
  • landowners have the right to close access land, so to avoid disappointment always check for any local access restrictions on the Natural England website before setting off.

Village greens

We are the Registration Authority for common land and town/village greens in Nottinghamshire. You can view these registers free of charge by making an appointment with our Countryside Access team. 

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