Maintenance of public rights of way
Almost all public rights of way (PROWs) cross private land. Responsibility for maintaining them is shared between us and the landowner.
Landowners are responsible for keeping their paths free from obstruction, and for keeping gates and stiles in good repair.
We are responsible for maintaining the surface and for signposting and way marking them.
If you think that a path is not properly maintained you should report the problem to the PROW team.
We are responsible for maintaining the surface of all public rights of way recorded on the Definitive Map. We carry out periodic maintenance of surfaced paths and operate an annual cutting programme that ensures that the majority of paths are cleared of vegetation each year.
Stiles and gates
Landowners must ensure that stiles and gates are in a state of good repair. We can provide a grant of up to 25% of the cost of maintenance or replacement of the structure. We have discretionary powers to extend this grant and in normal circumstances we will carry out the works ourselves at no cost to the landowner.
If you want to install an additional stile or gate on a path you must first get authorisation from us. We can only authorise a new stile or gate if it helps control livestock.
Bridges and culverts
The provision and maintenance of bridges and culverts is shared between us and the landowner and may be different in each case. In normal circumstances we repair and maintain bridges at no cost to the landowner.
Signposts and waymarkers
We put up and maintain sign posts where paths leave a tarmacked road. The sign post will always show the status of the path and may also show if the path is part of a promoted walk.
We may also place waymarkers on a path to help you find your way. An agreed national colour scheme uses yellow arrows for footpaths and blue arrows for bridleways.
Hedges and trees
Landowners must maintain hedges and trees next to paths so that they do not obstruct the path in any way. See the trees and hedgerows section of this website to find out if you need permission to fell a tree or remove a hedgerow.