Do you know the difference between Footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways and Byways open to all traffic (B.O.A.T.)?
There are four main types of public rights of way:-
Footpaths are for use on foot only. Walkers are entitled to take a pushchair or other ‘normal’ accompaniment . A dog can also be taken on a footpath, but must be under ‘close control’.
As for footpaths, but with additional rights to ride or lead a horse, and to ride or push a cycle (with pedals).
A new category of right of way, formerly known as a Road Used a Public Path (R.U.P.P.). The rights are the same as for bridleways, with an additional right to use horse-drawn carts and carriages, but not motorised vehicles.
Byway open to all traffic (B.O.A.T.)
As for bridleways, but with additional rights to drive motorised vehicles, and horse-drawn carts and carriages.
How do I know where Public Rights of Way are?
For general information on public rights of way you can look at Ordnance Survey “Explorer” maps however they do not show the definitive legal line and status of routes. If you require accurate information on the precise line and status of a route, then you should inspect the Definitive Map.
How can I find more information for my area?
2 places where you will find much information are your local County Council website (see details below) and the British Horse Society website:
There is lots of very useful information on the British Horse Society Website re bridleways – www.bhs.org.uk/Riding/Riding_Off_Road.aspx
If you view the menu on the left hand side of the BHS website you will see you can access information on Finding a route to ride and more.
See also the Bridleways website:
County Council Websites & contact info:
There is information and guidelines about your local bridleways on your local County Council website. Most County Councils also include districts which have their own websites. Links to districts will be found on your local county council website:
There are 4,415 registered public rights of way in Herefordshire, ranging from a few metres to several kilometres in length. The county’s path network covers over 3,360km and is managed and maintained by Amey Herefordshire on behalf of Herefordshire Council.
Gloucestershire has about 3,400 miles of footpaths, bridleways, byways and restricted byways that make up its public rights of way network.
Public Rights of Way Team, Gloucestershire County Council, Environment Dept., Shire Hall, Gloucester, GL1 2TH. Tel: 01452 425577
www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/prow tel. 01452 426504, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Powys has over 12,000 individual public rights of way, many of which are used largely for recreation – particularly walking, cycling, horse-riding and driving “off-road” motor vehicles. The majority of the network is used on a casual basis by local people and visitors.
Shropshire’s Countryside Access Team manages approximately 5500km of public footpaths, bridleways, byways open to all traffic (BOATs) and restricted byways (RBs). These form a network of routes which run between villages, lead to and from towns, and provide access to the countryside.
Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6ND.
Tel. 0345 678 9000 Email: email@example.com
Shropshire also offer a special riding website where you can find routes to ride: www.shropshireriding.co.uk
Worcestershire has nearly 16000 Public Rights of Way totalling almost 3000 miles recorded on the definitive map and statement.
Worcestershire County Council, County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP
The Countryside Service is responsible for the public rights of way network (of 1650 km) outside of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The Brecon Beacons National Park Authority are responsible for the 500 km of paths in Monmouthshire within their area.
Countryside Department, County Hall, Turnpike Road, Cwmbran, Torfaen, NP44 2XH
Tel: 01633 644850 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org