A Right of Way (RoW) is a path that anyone has the legal right to use on foot, and sometimes using other forms of transport:
- Public footpaths are normally open only to walkers
- Public bridleways are open to walkers, horse-riders and cyclists
- Restricted byways are open to walkers, horse-riders and drivers/riders of non-mechanically propelled vehicles (such as horse-drawn carriages and pedal cycles)
- Byways Open to All Traffic (BOAT) are open to all classes of traffic including motor vehicles, though they may not be maintained to the same standard as ordinary roads
RoW are printed on Ordnance Survey© Explorer (25k) and Landranger (50k) maps. However, they are sometimes liable to change and may not be clearly defined on the ground. Please check with Wiltshire Council for the latest information using their Rights of Way Explorer.
The duty to maintain RoW is shared between Wiltshire Council and the landowner of the property over which the RoW exists. The Parish Council, while wishing to encourage landowners to keep RoW clear, has no power to enforce maintenance or clearance. It also has the power to inform Wiltshire Council of any suspected breaches of duty and to remind them of their statutory obligation to do something about it. To this end it has adopted a Rights of Way Accessibility Monitoring Policy (see under Policies or download a copy below) to assist all parties in ensuring accessibility. Full details are on the Wiltshire Council Rights of Way page here and their RoW and Countryside policies are attached. A guide for landowners is also attached.
- Right to Roam You can access some land without having to use paths – this land is known as ‘open access land’ or ‘access land’. It includes mountains, moors, heaths and downs that are privately owned. It also includes common land registered with the local council. Your right to access this land is called the ‘right to roam’, or ‘freedom to roam’. See here for full details of the scheme and what you can and cannot do. There are several areas of open access land in the Upper Deverills. Search here for a map of open access land.
Please follow the Countryside Code at all times.