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Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

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Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Section 51 yn gyfredol gyda’r holl newidiadau y gwyddys eu bod mewn grym ar neu cyn 21 Medi 2019. Mae newidiadau a all gael eu dwyn i rym yn y dyfodol. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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51 Powers of entry.E+W

(1)Any person authorised in writing by the relevant authority may, at any reasonable time and (if required to do so) upon producing evidence that he is authorised, enter any land for any of the following purposes—

[F1(a)to determine whether the land should be notified under section 28(1);

(b)to assess the condition of the flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features by reason of which land which has been notified under section 28(1) is of special interest;

(c)to determine whether or not to offer to enter into [F2a nature reserve agreement or an SSSI agreement] F3... in relation to the land;

(d)to ascertain whether a condition to which a consent referred to in section 28E(3)(a) was subject has been complied with in relation to the land;

(e)to ascertain whether an offence under section 28P or under byelaws made by virtue of section 28R is being, or has been, committed on or in relation to the land;

(f)to formulate a management scheme for the land or determine whether a management scheme (or a proposed management scheme) for the land should be modified;

(g)to prepare a management notice for the land;

(h)to ascertain whether the terms of [F2a nature reserve agreement or an SSSI agreement] F4... in relation to the land, or the terms of a management scheme or the requirements of a management notice in relation to the land, have been complied with;

(i)to determine whether or not to offer to make a payment under section 28M in relation to the land;

(j)to determine any question in relation to the acquisition of the land by agreement or compulsorily;

(k)to determine any question in relation to compensation under section 20(3) of the 1949 Act as applied by section 28R of this Act;

[F5(ka)for the purposes of putting up, maintaining or removing notices or signs under section 28S;]

(l)to ascertain whether an order should be made in relation to the land under section 34 or if an offence under that section is being, or has been, committed on the land;

(m)to ascertain whether an order should be made in relation to the land under section 42 or if an offence under that section is being, or has been, committed on the land;]

but nothing in this subsection shall authorise any person to enter a dwelling.

[F6(1A)The power conferred by subsection (1) to enter land for any purpose includes power to enter for the same purpose any land other than that referred to in subsection (1).

(1B)More than one person may be authorised for the time being under subsection (1) to enter any land.]

(2)In subsection (1) “the relevant authority” means—

(a)for the purposes of [F7paragraphs (a) to (ka)] of that subsection, [F8Natural England or [F9the Natural Resources Body for Wales]];

(b)for the purposes of [F10paragraph (l)] of that subsection, the Secretary of State or the relevant authority within the meaning of section 34;

(c)for the purposes of [F10paragraph (m)] of that subsection, F11. . . the [F12National Park authority].

[F13(2A)In subsection (1)—

  • nature reserve agreement” has the same meaning as in Part 3 of the 1949 Act;

  • SSSI agreement” has the same meaning as in section 15A of the 1968 Act.]

(3)A person shall not demand admission as of right to any land which is occupied unless either—

(a)24 hours notice of the intended entry has been given to the occupier; or

[F14(b)the purpose of the entry is to ascertain if an offence under section 28P, 34 or 42 is being, or has been, committed on or (as the case may be) in relation to that land.]

[F15(3A)A person acting in the exercise of a power conferred by subsection (1) may—

(a)use a vehicle or a boat to enter the land;

(b)take a constable with him if he reasonably believes he is likely to be obstructed;

(c)take with him equipment and materials needed for the purpose for which he is exercising the power of entry;

(d)take samples of the land and of anything on it.

(3B)If in the exercise of a power conferred by subsection (1) a person enters land which is unoccupied or from which the occupier is temporarily absent, he must on his departure leave it as effectively secured against unauthorised entry as he found it.]

(4)Any person who intentionally obstructs a person acting in the exercise of any power conferred by subsection (1) shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding [F16level 3 on the standard scale].

[F17(5)It is the duty of a relevant authority to compensate any person who has sustained damage as a result of—

(a)the exercise of a power conferred by subsection (1) by a person authorised to do so by that relevant authority, or

(b)the failure of a person so authorised to perform the duty imposed on him by subsection (3B),

except where the damage is attributable to the fault of the person who sustained it; and any dispute as to a person’s entitlement to compensation under this subsection or as to its amount shall be referred to an arbitrator to be appointed, in default of agreement, by the Secretary of State.]

Extent Information

E1This version of this provision extends to England and Wales only; a separate version has been created for Scotland only

Textual Amendments

F1S. 51(1)(a)-(m) substituted for s. 51(1)(a)-(d) (E.W.) (30.1.2001) by 2000 c. 37, ss. 80(2), 103(2)

F3Words in s. 51(1)(c) omitted (E.W.) (21.5.2016) by virtue of Environment (Wales) Act 2016 (anaw 3), s. 88(2)(a), Sch. 2 para. 3(9)(a)

F4Words in s. 51(1)(h) omitted (E.W.) (21.5.2016) by virtue of Environment (Wales) Act 2016 (anaw 3), s. 88(2)(a), Sch. 2 para. 3(9)(b)

F6S. 51(1A)(1B) inserted (E.W.) (30.1.2001) by 2000 c. 37, ss. 80(3), 103(2)

F10Words in s. 51(2)(a)(b)(c) substituted (E.W.) (30.1.2001) by 2000 c. 37, ss. 80(4)(a)(b)(c)

F12Words in s. 51(2)(c) substituted (1.4.1996) by virtue of 1995 c. 25, s. 78, Sch. 10 para. 22(5) (with ss. 7(6), 115, Sch. 8 para. 7); S.I. 1995/2950, art. 3(1)(2)

F14S. 51(3)(b) substituted (E.W.) (30.1.2001) by 2000 c. 37, ss. 80(5), 103(2)

F15S. 51(3A)(3B) inserted (E.W.) (30.1.2001) by 2000 c. 37, ss. 80(6), 103(2)

F17S. 51(5) inserted (E.W.) (30.1.2001) by 2000 c. 37, ss. 80(7), 103(2)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1S. 51 amended (E.W.) (30.1.2001) by 2000 c. 37, ss. 76(1), 103(2), Sch. 11 para. 21

51 Powers of entry.S

F18. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Extent Information

E2This version of this provision extends to Scotland only; a separate version has been created for England and Wales only

Textual Amendments

F18S. 51 repealed (S.) (29.11.2004) by Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 (asp 6), ss. 57, 59, Sch. 7 para. 4 (with transitional provisions and savings in Sch. 5 Pt. 2); S.S.I. 2004/495, art. 2

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