The latest 2021 lockdown has highlighted the desire of people to move away from urban areas, stay in the UK for their holidays and generally be able to use open spaces in a different way. The fact that most of us are currently only leaving our houses to get our once daily exercise (hopefully without having to use a car to do so) means that we are accessing the nearest possible open areas for our recreation.
This raises a number of potential issues for landowners and developers. Boundaries to land should be secured where possible and clear signage should be erected to demonstrate that the land is private property and not available for public recreational use. Property should be regularly inspected to ensure that there is no unauthorised access by third parties.
Where unauthorised access occurs regularly by various members of the public this could, in certain circumstances, lead to a claim for land to be registered as a town or village green. In addition to this landowners and developers need to take care that they are protecting themselves against a potential claim for third party liability, should anyone be injured whilst accessing the land.
Sites which are subject to ecological concerns should be particularly monitored to prevent any disturbance to these areas and any habitats within them which may in turn interfere with the timetable for the development of the land.