Right to roam

Outdoor recreation is an important part of our cultural heritage in Norway. Since ancient times, we have had the right to roam freely in forests and open country, along rivers, on lakes, among the skerries, and in the mountains – irrespective of who owns the land. We are allowed to harvest nature`s bounty – which means not only saltwater fish, berries, mushrooms and wildflowers, but also our sensory impressions of the whole outdoor experience.

The main principles of the right to roam are legally enshrined in the Outdoor Recreation Art of 1957.

The right to roam applies to open countryside, where the following activities are permitted: 
– Free movement on foot and skis
– Resting and overnight camping
– Riding and cycling on trails and roads
– Swimming, canoeing, rowing and sailing
– Picking berries, mushrooms and wildflowers
– Fishing without licence for saltwater species

Foto: K.Nesser

General Information on the Right to Roam 

To fish inland waters, you need a fishing permit from the landowner. If you are under 16, you can fish free of charge between January 1 and August 20, except where the salmon, sea trout and sea char.

To hunt, you need the permission of the landowner, who owns the hinting rights. You also need to pass the hunter accreditation exam and purchase a hunting license.

Uncultivated land or open country includes most of Norway`s lakes, shores, bogs, forest and mountains and is usually not fenced off. Small uncultivated areas within cultivated land are not regarded as open country.

Cultivated or built-up land: fields, meadows, pastures, gardens, courtyards, building plots and industrial sites. You do have access to some cultivated land, such as fields and meadows, between October 15 and April 30 when the ground is frozen or covered in snow. Please note that cultivated land need not acutallu be fenced off.

Always close gates and respect livestock, whether you are on cultivated or on uncultivated land. Dogs must be kept on a leash between April 1 and August 20. Be careful around fire – you must not light a fire in or near woodland between April 15 and September 15. Find out about any local bylaws regarding dog leashing and bonfires, witch are often stricter than the national regulations. Make sure you tidy up before leaving your picnic spot or campsite. Take any litter away with you.

For more information contact Norwegian Environment Agency. 
Phone number: +47 73 58 05 00
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.environmentagency.no