Monday 15 October 2012
Remember to restore public rights of way while ploughing and hedging, says CLA
The CLA is reminding farmers busy with autumn cultivation to ensure that footpaths, bridleways and other rights of way on their land remain open and unobstructed.
CLA Midlands Rural Adviser Donna Tavernor says that while ploughing and cultivation are a necessary part of farming, it can cause problems for walkers. She 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 it is all too easy to forget to restore a footpath after cultivation, particularly if it is not often used – for instance neglecting to cut the hedges back so they're not overgrowing the paths. The problem is that, 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."
Miss Tavernor added that she hoped visitors to the countryside would receive a warm welcome by respecting the Countryside Code and remembering that the countryside is a working environment
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