I love to go on country walks through the English countryside. There is a network of footpaths and rights of way that allow walkers to cross farmland. An Ordnance Survey map will show these clearly, and landowners should ensure that these paths are accessible and not impeded in any way. The local authorities employ a Rights of Way Warden whose job is to follow up with landowners when there are issues.
In some areas, footpaths are better signposted and the paths clearly visible than others. At times, it is obvious that the landowners are not happy with walkers crossing their land and little effort has been made to keep the path visible. Some owners have been guilty of illegally blocking access. If you are ever out walking and find problems, it is worth taking the time to report the issue to the appropriate council.
Public footpaths have been established over centuries and are there for the benefit of anyone wishing to use them. Of course, walkers have a responsibility to stick to the footpaths and be considerate. Litter should not be dropped or damage caused to gates, fences or other property. Dog walkers should always keep their animals on a leash where there are farm animals in the fields.
The countryside is there for our enjoyment and footpaths allow us access to it.
What are your experiences with public footpaths? Please leave a comment.