Locked gates and cropped over bridleways?

Home Forum Bike Forum Locked gates and cropped over bridleways?

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)
  • Locked gates and cropped over bridleways?
  • Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    they can’t obstruct bridleways/rights of way.

    Contact you local Rights of Way Officer.

    allthepies
    Member

    Seemed to be a lot of this going on when I was down near Devizes last summer.

    bajsyckel
    Member

    Give your council rights of way office a call to check the definitive status of the route (i.e. that it exists, and that you were on the line of it – maps aren’t always accurate), and report the problem to them. If the legal ROW is blocked or obstructed then they can contact the landowner and remind them of their obligations to allow access.

    IIRC farmers can grow a crop and ask users to divert around using an alternative, locked gates are not OK on bridleways (horses can’t negotiate them easily) but may be on footpaths (stiles etc can be used). Happy to be corrected on this though.

    flanagaj
    Member

    Seemed to be a lot of this going on when I was down near Devizes last summer.

    Funny you should mention that as that is where it was!

    Just outside Pewsey

    soobalias
    Member

    correct action is to report obstructions (crops or gates) to the ROW Officer, you can find an email address from your local council website
    The farmer is supposed to retain the ROW and that includes not ploughing it, or if they do, returning it to a useable state.
    iirc.

    the real life action is to climb gates and ride the crops – although ploughed fields can be very hard work.

    ska-49
    Member

    I’ve wondered this too. There are lots of bridleways around here that are old (mud) road and have banks either side. The trees have grown so much that it’s almost impossible to ride. A horse/car have no chance.

    Does the farmer/landowner have to cut it back? It dosen’t bother me, just curious.

    allthepies
    Member

    flanagaj wrote:

    Seemed to be a lot of this going on when I was down near Devizes last summer.Funny you should mention that as that is where it was!
    Just outside Pewsey

    Right kind of area to where we were. Locked gates, electric wire across ROW (footpath in field so not a garrote job) etc etc

    flanagaj
    Member

    I’ve wondered this too. There are lots of bridleways around here that are old (mud) road and have banks either side. The trees have grown so much that it’s almost impossible to ride. A horse/car have no chance.

    Does the farmer/landowner have to cut it back? It dosen’t bother me, just curious.

    This is my understanding and it is quite ridiculuous. Growth that comes up from the ground is the responsibility of the local council. Growth above the ground eg trees, bushes growing across the trail is the Farmer’s responsibility. They have a responsibility to clear this so report the matter to your local rights of way officer.

    I am just going to dig out the details and report the land owner for cropping the bridleway.

    I think the responsibility should be put on the land owner and fines imposed for not clearing. I mean, they surely should earn their subsidies some way ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Ha! I was investigating trails near Pewsey last year and bridleway was fenced off and not accessible. Checked out the other end of this very long trail and it was fenced off.

    E-mailed Wiltshire ROW who told me it was undergoing a change of use or something.

    Naturally the up-to-date info did not appear on the Council’s online mapping. ๐Ÿ™„

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    I really need to get involved in Rights of Way as a volunteer. Council’s idea of someone representing ‘ cycling offroad’ is a person who uses towpaths and disused railway lines. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Years ago I offered my services and didn’t hear a word!

    flanagaj
    Member

    Whilst on a recent ride I cam to a section that stated a bridleway ran across the field. On close examination there was no bridleway and as a result I had to cycle through the crop field. Just wonder whether the farmer has a responsibility here or whether you just have to battle your way through?

    A bit further on, I think it was the same land owner, the five bar gate on the bridleway was locked and as a result I had to lift my bike owner. Again, can Farmers lock gates?

    neninja
    Member

    As already stated the farmer should avoid ploughing the bridleway and should reinstate after ploughing. We have some local farmers who plough them and just leave them like that. I guess horses aren’t bothered but it’s a pain for walkers and bikes.

    Our local ROW office are useless – they haven’t even replied to emails pointing out locked gates, obstructions etc. That was before the cut backs so I suspect they are worse now.

    I contacted Sustrans about blockages on some of their routes due to dense undergrowth and offered to cut them back if they provided a strimmer. They declined the offer so the routes are still unrideable.

    Two weeks to reinstate the route. Take matters into your own hand: crop the bolt on the gate and strim the overgrowth.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    iirc theres a locked gate here bit of boat BW and ORPA going on, hows that work then? cant remember if it’s a kissing gate or a chicane to get your bike around, pretty sure you couldn’t get a horse through it anyway.

    johnellison
    Member

    I’ve wondered this too. There are lots of bridleways around here that are old (mud) road and have banks either side. The trees have grown so much that it’s almost impossible to ride. A horse/car have no chance.

    Does the farmer/landowner have to cut it back? It dosen’t bother me, just curious.

    In England and Wales, the landowner is responsible for ensuring that any rights of way which pass over their land are passable at all times, or, as has already been stated, to ensure that rights of way are restored after crops have been grown.

    If they do not, the correct course of action is to contact your county (or metropolitan borough) council and speak to their Rights of Way officer who will then advise the landowner to take action, followed by legal enforcement thereafter if necessary.

    Lancashire County Council are pretty shit-hot at this but I couldn’t speak for anywhere else.

    That said, you are legally entitled to remove any obstruction from a right of way yourself if you are able to do so at the time that you discover it – for example, if a branch has fallen across a PRoW and you can move it there and then, you can do so. What you can’t do is come back later with a chainsaw and chop it up into stove-sized pieces.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    What you can’t do is come back later with a chainsaw and chop it up into stove-sized pieces.

    Which is why the secateurs and a folding saw are always in my camelbak for the commute. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon schnor
    Subscriber

    Yep, as has been said, report to your local PRoW officer and double-check its status.

    Ploughing – Cross-field Footpath / Bridleway ploughing must be reinstated within 14 days (then 24 hours for any further disturbance). Field edge Public Rights of Way and cross-field Byways should never be ploughed. Reinstatement means restoring to 1m for Footpaths and 2m for Bridleways.

    Crops – The occupier has to make sure that the line on the ground of the Public Right of Way is indicated to not less than 1m and 2m as above.

    Locked gates – They can’t do this.

    Overgrowth – Across the path from the side = Landowner / occupier, from the ground = council.

    As mentioned above, you can carry secateurs to cut back vegetation which impedes progress along a path. If blocked, you can move branches / etc and even make a short deviation from the RoW to get around an illegal obstruction. As for bolt-cutters? I’ve seen walkers carry them ๐Ÿ™‚

    CG, its a shame your early offers weren’t taken up. Give them another ring and see if they’d still be interested. It could be though they aren’t set up to take on volunteers (like me, unfortunately).

    Shout if anyone needs more info.

    dobiejessmo
    Member

    This happens alot.last year was riding a Restricted byway and came across an electric fence across it so the farmer could make the field bigger for his livestock.That was in Gloucestershire.Mind i did come across a locked gate last week above Buxton which was clearly marked as a bridleway not a problem with a bike dont fancy trying to lift a horse over it ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    schnor – Local Access Forum that I believe each County is required to have. I may contact them again. What are you involved with, if you don’t mind me asking?

    Premier Icon schnor
    Subscriber

    Not at all, I’m a RoW Occifer at a North Wales council (on my lunch by the way!)

    It could have been that your LAF wasn’t accepting new members at that time. Some LAF’s renew all their members every year, but if not some people drop out occasionally. It might be worth attending a meeting as a member of the public and introducing yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)

The topic ‘Locked gates and cropped over bridleways?’ is closed to new replies.