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Malvern Hills Act 1995

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15Public access to the Malvern Hills

(1)Subject to the provisions of the Malvern Hills Acts and compliance with all rules, regulations or byelaws relating to the Malvern Hills and for the time being in force, the public shall have a right of access to the Malvern Hills on foot and on horseback for the purpose of open-air recreation; and a person who enters on the Malvern Hills for that purpose without breaking or damaging any wall, fence, hedge, gate or other thing, or who is on the Malvern Hills for that purpose having so entered, shall not be treated as a trespasser on the Malvern Hills or incur any other liability by reason only of so entering or being on the Malvern Hills.

(2)A person entering upon the Malvern Hills in accordance with subsection (1) above is not, for the purposes of the [1957 c. 31.] Occupiers' Liability Act 1957, a visitor of any occupier of the Malvern Hills.

(3)Nothing in this section shall prejudice or affect the exercise of powers under any enactment whereby access to the Malvern Hills may be regulated or prohibited; and, subject to subsections (4) and (6) below, the Conservators may by notices posted in such places on the Malvern Hills as they think fit regulate or prohibit for such period as may be reasonably necessary access by all, or any part of, the public to any part of the Malvern Hills—

(a)after consultation with the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, for the protection, so far as is reasonably necessary, of any ancient monument or any area of archaeological or historical interest;

(b)for the protection and restoration of the natural beauty of the Malvern Hills and their suitability for rough grazing or recreation;

(c)for the preservation of trees on the Malvern Hills;

(d)if advised by the Nature Conservancy Council for England that regulation or prohibition of access would be desirable in the interests of protection or preservation of flora or fauna or any area of scientific interest on the Malvern Hills, for such protection or preservation, so far as is reasonably necessary;

(e)after consultation with the chief officer of police and the chief fire officer of the fire authority, for the prevention of the risk of fire on the Malvern Hills;

(f)for the prevention of accidents or injury or other damage to health at any place, which is in the opinion of the Conservators a source of danger, on the Malvern Hills;

and notwithstanding anything in the existing Malvern Hills Acts, the Conservators may post such notices and for the purposes of paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d) and (f) above, may fence and enclose parts of the Malvern Hills for so long as may appear necessary for the attainment of the purposes of the regulation or prohibition of access; and during the currency of any such regulation or prohibition the right of access of the public shall be subject to the regulation or prohibition.

(4)In exercise of the powers of paragraphs (e) and (f) of subsection (3) above the Conservators may regulate or prohibit access by the public to, over or along any footpath or bridleway on or over the Malvern Hills but the Conservators shall not in exercise of the powers of paragraphs (a) to (d) of that subsection regulate or prohibit such access.

(5)A notice posted in accordance with this section shall include a statement of the reasons for that regulation or prohibition and of its duration.

(6)Nothing in subsection (3) above shall authorise the Conservators to regulate or prohibit access to any part of the Malvern Hills by any person bona fide going to or from any land which is accessible only over that part of the Malvern Hills.

(7)Except in case of emergency or in any case where the regulation or prohibition of access is for a period not exceeding 28 days, the Conservators shall, before exercising any of the powers conferred on them by subsection (3) above, consult with the Central Council of Physical Recreation and at least one local association, authority or other body having a substantial interest in the area to be affected by the exercise of those powers and the use of the Malvern Hills for recreational purposes.

(8)Except in case of emergency or in any case where the regulation or prohibition of access is for a period not exceeding 28 days, not less than 28 days before in any case exercising the powers of paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (3) above, the Conservators shall give notice by advertisement of the proposed regulation or prohibition of access by the public, its intended duration and the reasons for which it is proposed to be made and stating that written representations relative thereto may be notified to them within 28 days after the date of the publication of the notice, and, before giving effect to their proposals for regulating or prohibiting access, the Conservators shall consider all representations so made.

(9)The notice required by subsection (8) above shall be given in one or more newspapers which individually or together circulate throughout the county of Hereford and Worcester.

(10)The Conservators shall, on or before the date on which it is published, send a copy of any notice which is to be published in pursuance of subsection (8) above during a specified period, of a specified description and relating to land comprised in a specified area to any person who has previously—

(a)requested the Conservators to send him copies of all such notices as so specified; and

(b)paid to the Conservators such reasonable charges as the Conservators may have specified.

(11)The Conservators may make byelaws providing that any person who, without reasonable excuse, contravenes a notice posted under subsection (3) above shall be guilty of an offence and subsections (4) to (7) of section 10 (Byelaws) of the Act of 1930 shall apply to byelaws made under this subsection as if references in the said subsections (4) to (7) to “this section” included references to this subsection.

(12)Where the Conservators have exercised their powers under subsection (3) above they shall—

(a)review any continuing regulation or prohibition of access no later than one year after the regulation or prohibition was first implemented and thereafter at intervals of no more than a year;

(b)in the case of a continuing regulation or prohibition of access under paragraph (e) of that subsection, review that regulation or prohibition no later than two months after the regulation or prohibition was first implemented and thereafter at intervals of no more than two months;

(c)describe the nature and extent of the exercise of the powers in the form of an annual written report, copies of which shall be made available at the offices of the Conservators and a copy of which shall be delivered to all local authorities within whose areas the Malvern Hills lie.

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