13 January 2020

If you are a landowner /occupier of land with a public right of way crossing it, you must be fully aware of your duty of care to the general public. It may be difficult to establish what duty of care one person owes to another and will often depend on the individual case. With that in mind, it is advisable to make sure that you have public liability insurance in place in order to provide protection should an incident occur on your landholding.

It is important that both you, as landowner / occupier, and the general public are aware of where rights of way and permissive paths exist and to show a mutual respect to one another when using these paths. Make sure that you are aware of what type of path(s) and rights exist over your landholding such as footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways, byways or permissive paths.

Each individual type of path has its own requirements. For example, a footpath crossing a field must be a minimum of 1m in width whereas a bridleway which is routed around a field edge / headland must be a minimum of 1.5m wide.

The Highway Authority or your local Council has a duty to assert and protect the rights of the public to use and enjoy the Public Rights of Way Network and make sure the requirements of legislation are met by you and the general public.

For more information contact James Owen, Head of Agriculture and Rural Property Team on 01935 846076 or