Public Rights of Way

User rights and responsibilities

Wherever you go, do not forget the country code:

  • enjoy the countryside and respect its life and work
  • guard against all risks of fire
  • fasten all gates
  • keep your dogs under close control
  • keep to public paths across farmland
  • use gates and stiles to cross fences, hedges and walls
  • leave livestock and machinery alone
  • take your litter home and help to keep water clean
  • protect Wildlife, plants and trees
  • take special care on country roads.

The Council's role

Telford & Wrekin Council, as highway authority, is responsible for the maintenance of public rights of way and protecting the public path network. The county council should:

  • keep the surface of the public path network in good repair and controlling vegetation (other than crops) growing from it
  • maintain bridges over natural water courses, including farm ditches
  • signpost rights of way from metalled roads and providing additional signs and waymarks as necessary along the route
  • protect the public's right to use and enjoy rights of way
  • secure the removal of obstructions, including ensuring that paths over cultivated land are reinstated and marked out after they have been disturbed
  • ensure that there are no intimidating notices that would deter the public from any paths.

The landowner's role

The landowner or occupier of land must:

  • keep rights of way clear of obstructions
  • cut back vegetation encroaching from the sides and overhanging the path, so that it does not inconvenience the public or prevent the line of the path from being apparent on the ground
  • ensure that all field-edge public paths are never cultivated
  • ensure that cross-field footpaths and bridleways are cultivated (i.e. ploughed or disturbed) only when it is not convenient to avoid them and are properly reinstated after disturbance
  • keep paths clear of crops to ensure that they do not inconvenience users
  • maintain any stiles or gates on a public path in a safe condition
  • ensure that bulls are not kept in a field crossed by a path unless they do not exceed ten months old or are both not of a recognised dairy breed and are accompanied by cows or heifers
  • ensure that any warning notices are displayed only when a bull is present in a field
  • never keep any animal which is known to be aggressive in a field to which the public has access
  • ensure that no misleading signs are placed near rights of way that might discourage access.

Last updated: 10/03/2021 10:27

  1. Introduction
  2. Rights and responsibilities
  3. Contact