Rights of Way

Public rights of way are ways over which the public have the right to pass and repass. Public footpaths are for pedestrians only. Public bridleways are for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists. Public byways are for pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists and motorised vehicles, subject to the character of the way.

Rights of way consultation

The Rights of Way Improvement Plan has been produced to meet the requirements of the Countryside Act 2000.

After consultation, the completed Stages 1 and 2 are available to download.

Check if a path is a public right of way

If you wish to check whether a path is a public rights of way please contact us. On receipt, an Officer will check the status of the route on the definitive map and statement of public rights of way. If the route is not recorded as a public right of way it could be a claimed path. If the path is not recorded then the Council does not have any responsibility to maintain it.


Enforcement action over unauthorised blockings or diversions of public rights of way is taken by the Council as the highway authority.

Unauthorised blocking of rights of way and diversions can be reported to the Council using the contact details below.

In some cases the Planning Service can also take action if the blocking of the public right of way results from a breach of the planning permission, either:

  • The permission has not been carried out in accordance with the approved plans.
  • A condition of the planning permission has not been complied with.

In such cases the Council's enforcement action will be against the breach of planning control as well as the blocking of the public right of way. The effect of both these actions may result in the removal of the blockage.

The Council cannot take action over blocked or disputed private rights of way. Anyone affected in this way should consult a solicitor.

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