Legal responsibilities on rights of way

The public

  • remember that by using the paths properly and within your rights, you're much less likely to come across problems than if you abuse them
  • park your car where it's not obstructing access to fields or private driveways. If you're in a party, don't trespass by spreading out beyond the confines of the route
  • follow the Countryside Code

Landowners and occupiers

  • should know where public rights of way cross their land and prevent crops from growing on or encroaching over public paths
  • must not disturb the surface of a field edge path
  • must ensure that paths across fields are reinstated and marked on the ground no longer than 14 days after ploughing 
  • need some form of stock control if they keep livestock and have three options at a boundary, which are described in the Information for Land managers [PDF]
  • should obtain the consent from the County Council before erecting stiles or gates in new locations along a footpath or bridleway
  • are responsible for the maintenance and liabilities for gates and stiles on their land.

Nottinghamshire County Council

  • record and update public rights of way on the Definitive Map. This map may be inspected at County Hall or at district council offices. Copies are supplied to parish councils on request
  • look after signposts and waymarks on footpaths, bridleways and byways
  • maintain the surface of footpaths and byways, including the control of natural vegetation. In practice, few field paths receive routine maintenance, and walkers should be prepared to use boots or wellingtons in poor weather
  • maintain bridges over natural water courses
  • make grants available to farmers or landowners towards the cost of maintaining approved stiles, bridlegates and headland paths
  • administer the law concerning rights of way, and in particular ensure that they can be used by the public.

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