Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, there is a ‘right to roam’ over certain areas of land in the UK. So, how do farmers keep their livestock, machinery and produce secure? 

Public footpaths crisscross the United Kingdom, giving walkers a wonderful incentive to strap on a pair of hiking boots and hit the hills. However, for landowners, the reality is often far less idyllic. How can farmers and landowners protect their properties when there is a ‘right to roam’ across the UK?

What does the law say about the UK right to roam?

From a legal standpoint, the public is not automatically granted the ‘right to roam’ across agricultural or private land unless it falls into one of the following categories:

  • Land shown on a map as ‘open country’
  • Registered common land such as parts of the New Forest
  • Land that is 600 metres above sea level or higher
  • Land that has been ‘dedicated’ for public access

It is also important to note that some land that is shown as an ‘open country’ on a map may still be private and so the public must use dedicated footpaths, bridleways and rights of way when traversing it. 

What is a walker’s responsibility when it comes to the UK right to roam?

Remember that the UK right to roam does not mean the public has carte blanche to do what they want on a piece of land. Rather, the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 was created to provide access to land for open-air recreation such as hiking, cycling and walking. This means that a member of the public cannot wild camp, wild swim or let their dog run freely around livestock if they have not been granted special permission by the landowner. If a person is found to have breached any conditions outlined in the Act, they can be treated as a trespasser and prosecuted. 

What is a landowner’s responsibility when it comes to the UK right to roam?

Landowners often find it very tricky trying to manage and monitor who is accessing their land when public footpaths are going across it. Farmers do have the option of restricting access to their land for up to 28 days a year during critical periods such as lambing season. It is also possible to restrict access to dog walkers in areas where game birds are bred and shot.

What a landowner cannot do is to put up a ‘no trespassing’ sign on access land, nor can they use threatening behaviour or place the public at risk with dangerous interventions such as barbed wire to restrict access. 

How can farmers keep their livestock, machinery and produce secure? 

Smarter Technologies’ smart agriculture security and herd management solutions is an innovative way to monitor and manage access to your land. Using our secure Orion Data Network technology, we can monitor your farm site and assets – equipment, outbuildings, crops, fuel and livestock – in real time. 

Farm machinery and livestock agriculture security

The Orion Data Network gives you total control over your farm assets, from who is visiting, to where your workers are located as well as the health and security of your livestock. It is cost-effective and easily scalable. Our solutions allow farmers to secure the perimeter, outbuildings and farmhouse to protect workers, livestock and family, combat organised rural crime and quickly recover stolen assets while collecting evidence to secure an arrest and conviction.

Our state-of-the-art smart agriculture solutions include:

GPS Tags

These tags are a small, battery-powered device requiring minimal installation. They will last up to four years before they require a battery change. The device is ideal for moveable assets such as farm machinery and trailers and the tag will notify you of unlawful movements via text and email.

Door/Gate Sensors

These sensors are easy-to-install, wire-free and battery-powered. They attach to a door or gate to notify you instantly via SMS and email when unauthorised personnel or potential intruders enter.

Perimeter Protection

Protect your farm from trespassers with our light beam sensors. They are battery-powered and easy to deploy, protecting gateway openings or your whole perimeter. You’ll get instant alerts via SMS and email.


Smarter Technologies’ CCTV cameras are easy to install and can operate via 3/4G sim cards or WiFi. They provide you with alerts and allow you to view the incident via the Smarter Technologies camera app.

Electric Fence Theft Monitoring

Electric Fence Theft Monitoring ensures that you can act quickly to save any livestock that may no longer be contained. It will provide an alert if an electric fence is powered down or stolen.

Monitoring and Recovery

Smarter Technologies’ monitoring and recovery service has a 90% + success rate of returning stolen assets.

Motion Sensors

These motion sensors are designed to monitor any unauthorised movement of fixed or mobile assets and will notify you immediately.

Pressure Pads

Our pressure pads provide peace of mind when storing feed, fertiliser and machinery in open and unsecured locations. They will alert you by SMS or email if an item is moved.

These solutions from Smarter Technologies will give you the ability to monitor your assets remotely. You can see what is happening on your land, track and recover lost and stolen equipment and secure your rural business, home and workers from theft or damage. Smarter Technologies will provide you with the peace of mind you need when considering how best to protect your property while respecting the UK’s ‘right to roam’ legislation.

Get in touch with one of our experts today. They are on-hand to advise you on the most efficient and cost-effective smart technology solutions for your farm’s needs.