Remember to restore public rights of way while ploughing and hedging, says CLA

29 October 2013

CLA South East Regional Director Robin Edwards says that while ploughing and cultivation are a necessary part of farming, it can cause problems for walkers. He said: "The statutory right to plough applies only to cross field footpaths and bridleways over agricultural land and not to field edge paths. The surface must be made good to at least the minimum width within 14 days of the first disturbance.

"This is a very busy time of year for farmers and with the appalling weather conditions that they are facing this season, it is all the more easy to forget to restore a footpath after cultivation. The problem is that, if farmers neglect to reinstate a footpath or cut back a hedge, apart from the risk of being prosecuted and fined, every blocked footpath damages the reputation of the industry and puts visitors off coming to the countryside and spending money here."

Mr Edwards added that he hoped visitors to the countryside would receive a warm welcome by respecting the Countryside Code and remembering that the countryside is a working environment.