Rights and Responsibilities

Public Rights:The public have varying rights depending on the status of the right of way, the public have the right to pass and repass along a public right of way which can include: admiring the view, taking a photograph or resting as long as you do not stray from the line of the Right of Way or cause an obstruction.Pedestrians have the right to use public FPs, BRs, RBs, BYs and BOATs.Equestrians have the right to use public BRs, RBs, BYs and BOATs.Cyclists have the right to use public BRs, RBs, BYs and BOATs.Horse drawn vehicles have the right to use public RBs, BYs and BOATs.Motorbikes and vehicles have the right to use public BYs and BOATs.Dogs are allowed on Rights of Way but they must be kept under close control. The public have the right to take a short route around an illegal obstruction or remove it sufficiently to get past.

Public Responsibilities:The public are responsible for themselves on public rights of way which means that they should follow the Countryside Code and should use a 1:2500 Ordnance Survey map to navigate their way. The public have the responsibility of walking in single file across arable land, not to trespass and to avoid obstructing field gateways when parking.
The public are responsible for their dogs on rights of way, this means that the dog should be kept under close control, not be allowed to foul on the right of way, not be allowed to worry livestock or run through arable crops or flush game from hedgerows.

Landowner Rights:Landowners have the right to require the public to leave their land where the public have no right of access. Landowners have the right to protect their land from claimed public rights of way and they have the right to give consent for additional public access on their land (either temporary or permanent) either by using a Licensed Path Agreement or by dedicating the route as a new right of way.

Landowner Responsibilities:Landowners are also responsible for following the Countryside Code. Landowners are responsible for knowing where public rights of way are on their land and to ensure they complete a check for rights of way when purchasing new land or property. They are responsible for not obstructing rights of way and for ensuring cross field routes are reinstated and headland routes are available. Landowners are not permitted to ever plough a BY or RB. Landowners are responsible for their livestock and structures on their land. Landowners are responsible for ensuring no barbed wire crosses rights of way or is attached to any structure. Where barbed wire is required along a right of way the wire should be placed on the stock side and plain wire should be placed on the side walked by people to avoid injury. Landowners are also responsible for avoiding using firearms on or adjacent to public rights of way. They are responsible for knowing the law before commencing a shoot in the vicinity of a public right of way.

Local Authority (LA) Responsibilities: LAs are responsible for ensuring the definitive map is up to date, signposting all rights of way where they leave a metalled road and providing waymarks where necessary. LAs are responsible for keeping the surface of rights of way in a good repair and manage natural surface growth (including field headlands). They are responsible for ensuring farmers comply with the law regarding routes over cultivated land so that they are properly restored after being disturbed and remain apparent on the ground thereafter. LAs are also responsible for preventing the closure or obstruction of any highway, ensuring the maintenance of existing bridges and installation of new ones. They are responsible for providing a 25% grant to landowners for repair or improvement of structures and to respond to planning applications to protect and enhance public rights of way.

District and Borough Council Responsibilities:District and Borough Council Responsibilities exercise their powers to make public path orders and agreements. They are also responsible for things such as fly tipping on Public Rights of Way.

A route that has been waymarked by the Local Highway Authority but has not been reinstated by the landowner.

public rights of way

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