I run all my local pathways and bridleways on a regular basis as I only train off road. Usually farmers who have public footpaths running through their land maintain the path, repair the stiles and put the mower through particularly overgrown bits. There is this farmer whose house is on a gravel road marked 'private' on both ends and he has a big cornfield on the left of his house. The public footpath avoids his land by having a wooden bridge over the ditch between the house and cornfield and a path leading down the edge of the field to the paved road. The thing is, the wooden bridge is now so overgrown with thistles, stinging nettles and brambles it's difficult to pass and the fotpath itself has got thorns, nettles and corn right to the edge. I got in there last Sunday and it took me 10 minutes to get out of the field as it was impossible to carry on. As to totally go round would put 2 miles to my route I decided to brave it and just run through the gravel road marked private and onto themain road. Unfortunately the farmer spotted me, shouted after me and then jumped in his car and caught me just as I was about to turn into a footpath a few hundred yards down the road. He was rather angry and kept shouting that 'it's private property' so I explained about footpath being overgrown and not maintained after he told me the cornfield was his land. I apologised for running through his land but explanied that was trying to avoid damaging his crops as I trampled through a field trying to avoid thorns. I'm not really sure whose responsibility it is to maintain public footpaths which feature on OS maps which run through private land but then this particular pathway is often overgrown. I have not run through there for a while so I planned the Sunday route to see whether it was any better. I obviously will avoid this route until winter when the field will have been ploughed and weeds gone, I always respect crops and people's private property, just not sure where I stand in this particular case.
I dont either, but might be worth contacting your county rights of way officer.
Land-owners who have public footpaths on their land are required to maintain them, I believe.
Try the council, or there are websites about this kind of thing.
I'd like to know the answer too, there are some shocking footpaths near me.
Let's say you were the farmer. You would know whose responsibility it is to do the local work would you not.
Many farmers' do not make much money so if it was your responsibility you may just conveniently ignore the work required. However you do not want the general public running through your fields either. Actually some farmers' will not mind if you keep close to the hedges that border the fields.
I doubt the farmer has the time to 'catch' everybody that takes the route you did but the countryside bridge is there for a very good reason (even if not in constant use) so it should always be kept clear and have any repairs done. Your local council should be able to give you a clear answer and your Citizens Advice Bureau might get it quicker than you can.
WIlkie, that was what I thought - and a quick search would seem to support that
I do a footpath survey for the Parish council every couple of years. There is a duty on the landowner to keep stiles/footpaths/brdiges in good repair.
I would report the bridge to the local footpaths officer. Contact the local counmcil or your Parish councillor .
'Trespassers wil be prosecuted' is meaningless. You can only be prosecuted for causing damaging, not being there in the first place. It is the same with burgulars in a house if the door is unlocked/open
Just had a quick check to confirm its still the case and its as I thought ... tresspass is actually a civil offence as oppossed to a criminal offence.
Therefore you cannot be prosecuted for trespass ... the landowner could however sue you if they so desired, however the costs involved in bringing such an action would make that highly unlikely.
Also, (and this is from a previous life) if someone tells you to 'get off my land' you have every right to challenge them to prove it is either a) their land or b) they are acting as an agent of the landowner, now given this would involve producing land registry documents etc. its again highly unlikely that they would have these on them, giving you ample time to remove yourself from piece of land in question.
AllNew - your sort of right with the Burg 9.1A but they took the rape part out about 4 years ago and it's theft, GBH or crim dam,, Burg sect 9.1b "enters building or part of a building as a trespassers and whilst there comits theft or inflicts GBH".
But we digress
Just watch out for the farmers with shotguns
We have a footpath that runs down the side of our garden.) Its fenced off so people don't actually walk through the garden!) Until recently every few months the chairperson of the parish council would lean over the gate and tell us it was becoming rather overgrown and pointed out that we had to keep it passable.
So I would say its the landowners responsibility to keep it clear, but your local council will have someone responsible for rights of way / footpaths who you can speak to as the land owner clearly isn't doing what he should!
And yes, trespass is a civil offence, and as long as you're not doing any damage there's not a lot they can do. However if you're alone in the middle of nowhere facing a (usually!) red faced pufffed-up landowner I reckon its discretion is the better part of valour and its way safer to just back off.
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