All basic rights and obligations of those moving about in the wild are aggregated in the General Part of the Environmental Code Act. Earlier, a hiker had to go looking for these in law of Property Act, Water Act, Nature Conservation Act, Fishing Act etc. The aforementioned acts do specify special occasions like behaviour on protected areas, traffic on water, or while fishing. On the whole, General Part of the Environmental Code Act is a phenomenon absolutely new in Estonian legal order.
General Part of the Environmental Code Act *
§ 32. Stay on land owned by others
(1) Stay on plots of land owned by other people (hereinafter referred to as alien plot) is only allowed by permission of owner.
(2) Permission to stay on alien plot is assumed if the owner has not restricted or marked the plot in a way revealing intent to restrict stay by aliens.
(3) While on alien plot, restrictions prescribed by law and legitimate requirements by owner need to be adhered to, while to maximally avoiding damage to environment.
(4) While on alien plot, interests of owner need to be considered, especially avoiding damage to property and disturbance of domestic peace.
§ 33. Use of road and trail on alien plot
(1) Public roads and private roads may be used by anyone to the extent prescribed in Roads Act and other acts.
(2) Roads not classified as civil engineering works (hereinafter trails) may be used to move on foot, by bicycle etc if not otherwise prescribed by law.
(3) An owner may not prohibit use of private road on foot, by bicycle or in other such ways if the use is based on established usage and is not burdensome to him.
(1) Shore paths are edges of public water bodies, for use of the water body and stay, including moving about on shores.
(2) With navigable water bodies, the path shall be ten metres, with other water bodies four metres.
(4) Owner of the shore must allow use of shore path by everyone.
(5) Owner of shore may block off shore path by written agreement of local government or Agricultural Board and with substantiated reason such as herding cattle or drainage of land, but he will need to secure a way over or around the barrier to move along the path.
* Unofficial translation by this newspaper