Landowners can restrict or prevent access for
up to 28 days a year to Open Access Land without special permission, and can
apply for additional restrictions for purposes such as land management,
conservation and fire prevention.
These closures apply only to the wider right
of access -- where, for example, land closed under the 28-day rule is
crossed by a footpath that is a public right of way, you still have a right
to use the footpath.
However, sometimes, footpaths themselves have
to be closed temporarily if they have become dangerous or for maintenance
but diversions are implemented where possible and sometimes for unusual
reasons. I once had to divert from the recognised footpath in the Trough of
Bowland because of a signed danger of attack from an eagle owl during the
nesting season. If you have ever seen an eagle owl, you will know this was a
sign to be respected!
Closure is done by a Traffic Regulation Order.
However, it is most annoying to plan a walk then find your route is closed.
Most local authorities list such closures on their websites. Current orders
for some of the main walking areas can be viewed by visiting the following
links. Sometimes these organisations change their websites' structures. If
you find these links do not work, please email me.
There may be closures of some
moorland during the grouse shooting season which runs from ("The
Glorious") 12 August to 10th December in the UK, except for Northern
Ireland when it ends on 30th November.
For specific closures of Open Access land, see
Natural England website. The tricky part is finding the correct name to
input but Ordnance Survey co-ordinates can be used.
For closures on the Bolton Abbey Estate due
to grouse shooting, these are listed on their website.
In Scotland, there is deer stalking to
contend with. The overall season is from 1 July to 20th October each year
but different areas use more limited dates within that. The Hillphones
website gives maps and phone numbers you can ring to get a recorded message
of closures in specific areas.
If anyone knows of other specific sources for
this information for different areas, please email Happy Hiker.
If you have a problem using a right of way
for example, an obstruction, poor maintenance or a misleading sign,
or notice fly tipping you should report it to:
- the National Park Authority if its in a
- the local highway authority for land
outside national parks you can contact them through your local council
- the Forestry Commission in woodland
Local authorities, landowners and land
occupiers all have a duty to keep public rights of way open and useable.
Contact points for these authorities can be
found at the Directgov
All information on this
site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any
damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.