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Public right of access

©Tore Wuttudal/Samfoto©Tore Wuttudal/Samfoto

The public right of access (Allemannsretten) entitles us to hike and camp in the countryside. The public right of access is important when it comes to recreational activities in Norway. The public right of access gives us the right to go hiking in forests and mountains, go skiing in the forests in the winter, and cycle and ride on paths and tracks. The public right of access does not apply to the use of motor vehicles.

The public right of access basically only applies to uncultivated land and cultivated land when the land is frozen or covered by snow. Uncultivated land in Norway includes lakes, beaches, marshes, forests and mountains. Cultivated land includes cultivated fields, gardens, farmyards, and plots around houses. In other words, we do not have the right to go onto other people’s cultivated land.

We can walk and ski wherever we wish and camp wherever we want on uncultivated land. We can spend the night under the open sky or put up a tent, though not closer than 150 metres to a house or cottage. If we want to spend more then 48 hours in the same place, we have to ask the landowner’s permission.

We also have responsibilities when we exercise our public right of access. We must not harm animals or the countryside. We have to tidy up after ourselves and not leave any rubbish behind. We must also be careful when lighting fires. It is forbidden to light fires in forests or near forests during the period 15th April – 15th September.

In most places we can pick berries, mushrooms and flowers, but in Northern Norway there are special rules when it comes to picking cloudberries.

What can we do to take care of the countryside?

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