Strict limitations around parking on farmland

Published 30 March 2021

Audi vehicle in front of cows

In order to combat dangerous wild parking and access to the countryside issues some farmers have been offering their land as car parks. Make sure you understand the rules before doing the same.

There are strict limitations when considering allowing the public to use farmland as a temporary car park.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have experienced a wealth of new visitors to the countryside. While it is great to see so many people appreciate the great outdoors, the influx of visitors has not been without its issues. One of which has been wild parking – the inconsiderate or dangerous parking/abandonment of vehicles. This has led to:

  • roads being blocked to emergency vehicles
  • gateways and lane entrances being barricaded
  • blocked farm vehicles in fields or
  • prohibiting field access.

To help alleviate this issue, the NFU has been in discussions with Natural England and Defra to make clear the guidance around the use of farmland for temporary car parks.

Currently, there are two agreement situations that must be fully considered before using agricultural land for car parking:

  • Farmland being claimed under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)
  • Land in an Environmental Stewardship (ES) or Countryside Stewardship (CS) agreement

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