Wiltshire Council is working with, and advising, landowners to help keep public rights of way as clear as possible during 2021.
Having been through almost a year of restrictions, people have been using local places to walk, cycle and ride for their exercise, and residents are regularly informing the council that certain areas are not as accessible as they should be.
Wiltshire has 4,000 miles of footpaths, byways and bridleways which are looked after by Wiltshire Council. Most of the network is on private land and the landowner and the Local Authority each have specific responsibilities for maintenance.
The council’s Countryside Access Officers look after the network and they are keen to work with landowners to prevent the substantial number of reports the council gets of paths being blocked by growing crops or ploughing.
The council has collated useful guidance to inform landowners of their responsibilities and to offer advice of what needs to be done to keep the paths clear or to reinstate them after ploughing.
The information is downloadable from the Wiltshire Council website https://bit.ly/2IXg99T
Walkers are also reminded to ensure they do their bit and are asked to respect The Countryside Code if they are out and about.
Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “We are making every effort to maintain and improve the extensive network of paths to help maintain the county’s beautiful countryside.
“It’s challenging work, but with the support of landowners to help us carry out the vital service, then there’s no reason why we can’t keep the countryside picturesque and accessible to all who use it.
“We are extremely grateful to all the volunteers in the county who continue to help us maintain the network”.