Looking after Cheshire East's Public Rights of Way
Most Public Rights of Way cross private land. Responsibility for them is shared by the landowner and the highway authority. Put simply, the landowner is responsible for keeping them free from obstruction and for looking after gates and stiles on the route, whilst the highway authority is responsible for maintaining them in good condition and signing and waymarking them. Whether in urban or rural areas, the responsibilities of the Council as the highway authority and the landowner are summarised below.
The Council's responsibilities include:
- Keeping Public Rights of Way clear of undergrowth (i.e. vegetation growing in the surface of the path) - you can download a spreadsheet of paths which receive annual maintenance (MS Excel, 111KB);
- assisting farmers and landowners with maintenance of stiles and gates;
- signposting Public Rights of Way where they leave the surfaced road;
- waymarking paths to help users find their way; and,
- maintaining most bridges and culverts.
Landowners' responsibilities include:
- keeping any Public Rights of Way on their land clear of overgrowth (i.e. hedge outgrowth across the path);
- maintaining any stiles and gates which are needed on Public Rights of Way;
- keeping Public Rights of Way free from obstruction - including growing crops;
- not ploughing field edge Public Rights of Way, or any Restricted Byway or Byway Open to All Traffic;
- reinstating cross-field Public Rights of Way after ploughing etc (in accordance with the Rights of Way Act 1990); and,
- applying for a temporary closure if undertaking any work which may affect a Public Right of Way or endanger its users.
Further details are given in the Guide to Problems and Protocols.
If you come across any problems affecting a Public Right of Way in Cheshire East, please complete the Report a Path Problem form or contact the Public Rights of Way Team.