3 Tips For Maintaining Right Of Way Footpaths On Your Land


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Property owners that host right-of-way paths or public footpaths on their land may be subject to a range of requirements in order to manage the legal standing of their ownership. While in most cases footpaths leading to public roads or streets will be maintained by the local government, in rural areas, footpaths that lead to premises of personal commercial use, or rights of way paths may be arranged so that the landowner is responsible for their upkeep.

There may also be an array of legal easements and agreements based on the specifics of your land. As such, it’s important to be aware of your responsibilities and legal duties in protecting the safety of the general public who may use this path. 

In this post, we’ll discuss some worthwhile services and practices you can use to give year-round safe access to the path on your land, while also deterring false impressions that your entire space is free for public access. 

With that in mind, please consider some of the following tips:

Tree Pruning & Lopping

Tree pruning and lopping can and will prevent the falling of trees on your path. Of course, freak accidents like a tree falling and causing harm in stormy weather won’t be your fault, but if the local authority can prove a lack of management led to harm or blockages, there could be issues. That’s why using tree lopping services and tree surgeons who can inspect the treeline surrounding the path while keeping it in good condition is so essential.

Boundary Marking

Marketing the boundaries of the path and the correct entrance points will help prevent public footpath users from entering your private property. Otherwise, they may assume an entire field is open to the public, or they may cut through areas they’re not supposed to in order to find a shortcut. This signage doesn’t have to be aggressive of course, just mark your private property, mark the footpath, and perhaps be bordered with light (but not defensive) fencing. This way, if difficulties are encountered (like a fallen tree), walkers can properly avoid the hazard by climbing over your fence quickly and altering their route back around. The need for safety trumps being overly vigilant about your property, provided users respect your concerns.

Erosion Prevention & Care

Good erosion prevention can go a long way in caring for your land, and making certain landfall or landshift is unlikely to happen. This might take an investment for appropriate land support, or it may mean checking the soil to check against poor water runoff in the area. You can also help protect against slippy pathways, especially on an incline, by putting in roughage on the paths like wood chips, as well as handholds where necessary. This way, slips falls, and unpredictable losses of land (especially near rivers and estuaries) can be avoided.

With this advice, you’ll be sure to maintain right-of-way footpaths on your land. Before you make the investment, however, it’s always important to be fundamentally clear about where your legal responsibilities lie.