Charlotte Michel

Dissertation: “L’accès du public aux espaces naturels, agricoles et forestiers et l’exercice du droit de propriété : des équilibres à gérer”, defended 2003


Access to open countryside in France. The countryside is a place of outdoor recreation for many. It is also made up of private land. Landowners have to make do with the presence of these numerous visitors, though many of them disapprove of it. They try to protect their land with fences and signs explaining that their land is not public.

Balance between access demand and the exercise of private property emerges from many tacit negotiation processes : between landowners and users, between landowners and local communities, between local communities and associations, etc. We have studied the place and the role of these negotiations and we show their importance and their efficiency in solving those interest conflicts.

This relational processes make landowners’ and users’ interests closer. A sustainable management of access to the countryside would thus need to maintain the right conditions that make efficient these processes of negotiation.”


Charlotte Michel is now a consultant, specialising in environmental issues like the management of protected areas.