Natural England - Rights of way

Rights of way

Rights of way provide many opportunities to enjoy the natural environment. They can be wide tracks or narrow trails, and they can run through towns or across remote countryside.

All rights of way are legally highways and anyone may use them at any time. However, there are different types. You can walk on all of them, but some have extra rights to ride a horse, cycle or drive a vehicle.

What is Natural England's role?

We continually review the opportunities to enjoy the natural environment, including rights of way.

Paths for Communities - A funding scheme set up to develop and enhance the network of Public Rights of Way in England in order to deliver benefits to rural areas. Local community partnerships are eligible to apply to Natural England for funds. Paths for Communities is now fully committed and the scheme is therefore closed to new applications.

Where can I find more information on rights of way?

Information on where rights of way go can be found from Ordnance Survey Maps, guide books and information boards. Local Authority websites will also often have details of their own network of routes as well as contact numbers for more information.

Problem using a right of way?

If you experience a problem using a right of way, for example if it is blocked, you need to contact the rights of way section of the local authorityexternal link through which the route passes.