The Norwegian Outdoor Recreation Act (Friluftsloven) from 1957 aims to protect the natural basis for outdoor and to safeguard the public right of access to and passage through the countryside and the right to spend time there. It shall also protect the landowner’s rights.
(article continues below image)The general rule is that anyone is entitled to access to and passage through uncultivated land at all times of year, provided that consideration and due care is shown. Any person is entitled to access to and passage through cultivated land when the ground is frozen or snow-covered, but not in the period from 30 April to 14 October.
What is the difference between cultivated and uncultivated area?
The following are considered to be cultivated land or equivalent to cultivated land: Farmyards, plots around houses and cabins, tilled fields, hay meadows, cultivated pasture, young plantations and similar areas where public access would unduly hinder the owner or user.
Uncultivated land means land that is not tilled and that is not considered to be equivalent to cultivated land in accordance with the preceding paragraph.
Where can I swim, picnic or stay overnight?
Any person has the right to bathe in the sea from a beach in an uncultivated area or from a boat provided that this takes place at a reasonable distance from an inhabited house or cabin and without unduly hindering or inconveniencing others.
It is not permitted to use sites on cultivated land for picnicking, sunbathing, staying overnight or the like without the permission of the owner or user.
In uncultivated areas, picnicking and camping must not take place if this may cause significant damage to young forest or to regenerating forest.
A tent must not be pitched so close to an inhabited house or cabin that it disturbs the occupants, and in any case no closer than 492 feet (150 meters). However, the rules on the distance from habitation do not apply in an area that has been specifically designated for camping.
Camping or another form of stay is not permitted for more than two days at a time without the permission of the owner or user. Permission for a longer stay is nevertheless not required in mountain areas or in areas distant from habitation.
What obligations do I have in the Norwegian Outdoor?
Anyone traveling in the Norwegian outdoors is obliged to act thoughtfully and carefully, and not to cause damage to the property of others, or cause environmental damage. He / she shall ensure that the area is left in a satisfactory condition, and not cause damage or inconvenience to others.
Which are the landowner’s rights?
A landowner has the right to expel persons who act inconsiderately or who by improper conduct cause damage or inconvenience to the property or rightful interests.
He cannot, without special authorization, set up a sign or in any other way announce that access or bathing is prohibited in an area where access is permitted.
The landlord may, with permission from the municipality, charge a reasonable fee for access to the beach, camp or other cultivated area.
What are the penalties for breaking the Outdoor Recreation Act?
Any person who travels without care and causes damage on someone’s property may be fined.
ATTENTION! Adjustments in Outdoor Recreation Act:
In May 2013, the Oslo City Council banned outdoor accommodation in parks and other cultivated areas within the city borders.
The reason is the ever-increasing growth of homeless people and beggars in Oslo, and in particular the growth of Romani people.
Half the population of Oslo disagrees with the new law. Many of the homeless have created inconvenience for residents, including the lack of sanitation and other disrespectful manners.
The Socialist Left Party (SV), the Red Party (Rødt) and the Green Party (Miljøpartiet De Grønne) voted against the proposal. The parties believe the ban stigmatizes the weakest groups in the Norwegian society.
The Romani-people react with anger to the new law, and it has led to several demonstrations.
This is the decision
Lodging, camping, tenting etc. in public parks, green areas, and recreation areas, on roads or in densely populated areas is prohibited without special permission from the local authority.
Text and photo by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews