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Access to the Countryside

Access to the Countryside

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Access to the Countryside

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  1. Access to the Countryside

  2. References • RIGHTS OF WAY a guide to law and practice John Riddall and John Trevelyan • www.ramblers.org.uk • www.countryside.gov.uk • www.ca-mapping.co.uk • www.ccw.gov.uk

  3. Statistics • 209,000 km footpath, bridleway and other tracks in England and Wales • Annually in UK • 750 million walking days • 22 million horse riding days

  4. Origin of Rights of Way • Presumed dedication in common law • Highway in use beyond memory • Presumed dedication – s31 HA80 • After 20 years use without interuption a highway is presumed dedicated for public right of way unless contrary intention exists • By statute – s26 HA80 • Creation agreement by local authorities

  5. Rights of Way by Common Law • Source of most footpaths, bridleways and carriageways

  6. Rights of Way by Statute • National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 • Introduced procedures to record public rights of way • Made footpaths and bridleways maintainable at public expense • Highways Act 1949 • Consolidated into Highways Act 1980 • Enforced a highway authority’s duty to maintain rights of way

  7. Rights of Way by Statute • Countryside Act 1968 • Updated definitive maps • Gave cyclists right to use bridleways • Required paths to be signposted • Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 • Further changes to definitive map procedures • Introduced legislation on grazing bulls on rights of way

  8. Rights of Way by Statute • Rights of Way Act 1990 • Amended duties on ploughing rights of way • New duties to prevent crop disturbance of rights of way • Access to the Countryside Act 2000 • Introduced open access

  9. Footpath Bridleway Carriageway cycletrack  motorways road street footway Road Used as Public Path (RUPP) Byway open to all traffic Green lane Rights of Way

  10. Footpath • Right of way on foot only

  11. Bridleway • Right of way on foot and horseback

  12. Carriageway • Includes • cycletrack  motorways • road • street • footway • Right of way on foot, on horseback and with a vehicle • Cycleways – cycle/foot • Motorways – some vehicle only

  13. Road Used as Public Path (RUPP) • NPACA 49 • A way other than a footpath or bridleway • Does it have vehicular rights? • Gosling Committee 1968 recommended reclassifying into • Unclassified road • Bridleway • Footpath • Reclassification in progress

  14. Byway open to all traffic • A carriageway mainly used by walkers and those on horseback • Open to vehicles as well

  15. Green lane • No legal meaning • Physical description for unsurfaced track • Can be footpath, bridleway or carraigeway • May not have rights of way

  16. Local Authorities • Major council • County, District, Unitary, Metropolitan • County, Unitary and Metropolitan are Highway Authorities responsible for rights of way

  17. Duties of Highway Authority • Maintain rights of way • Keep an up to date list of rights of way • Protect rights of way and prevent obstruction • Enforce restoration of ploughed or disturbed footpaths/bridleways • Take action against unlawful disturbance of highway • Enforce duty on occupier not to inconvenience users of rights of way • Signpost and waymarking • Prosecute misleading notices on rights of way

  18. Definitive maps • Required by statute • List all known rights of way in a local authority area • Public document

  19. Access to the Countryside Act 2000 • In force since 30 January 2001 • http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2000/20000037.htm • Countryside Agency – ENGLAND • Countryside Council for Wales - WALES

  20. Access to the Countryside Act 2000 • a new right of public access to mountain, moor, heath, down and registered common land; • provision of effective safeguards to take account of the needs of landowners and managers and of other interests, including wildlife; • the right will not apply to developed land, gardens or to cultivated land;

  21. Access to the Countryside Act 2000 • the right will be subject to sensible restrictions to avoid activities which might cause harm or damage; • the right will not extend to cycling, horseriding or driving a vehicle;

  22. Access to the Countryside Act 2000 • landowners’ liability as occupiers will be reduced to a minimum; • provision for landowners to close access land or otherwise restrict access without needing permission for up to 28 days each year;

  23. Access to the Countryside Act 2000 • provision for further closures or restrictions to take account of the needs of conservation, land management, defence and national security, and safety; • provision for possible extension of the right of access to coastal land, but only after public consultation; • a power for landowners voluntarily to dedicate their land for access.

  24. Maps http://www.ca-mapping.co.uk/mapping/Default.htm http://www.ccw.gov.uk/mapping/index.cfm?lang=en

  25. Trespass • Trespass is the unlawful entry by one person onto land in the possession of another • If a person accidentally wanders off a public right of way path onto another's land i.e. gets lost, he/she will be trespassing

  26. Trespass • It can be a defence in an action of trespass that a person strayed onto land not by his/her own actions e.g. if a horse bolted. This is not trespass and the person in control of the land cannot sue. • Trespass must be voluntary.