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Council Services:

Public Rights of Way

Lincolnshire has over 4000km of recorded public rights of way - footpaths, bridleways and byways that you are welcome to explore and enjoy.

What is a Public Right of Way?

What is a public right of way?

All public rights of way are highways, which you are entitled to use at any time.

Rights of way are classified according to the nature of their use. There are four categories of rights of way.

Most rights of way run across privately owned land and the responsibility for looking after rights of way is shared between the County Council (as highway authority) and the landowner or farmer.

Who can use public rights of way?

Rights of way are classified according to the nature of their use. The four categories of rights of way are:

FootpathMarked with a yellow arrow and should be used by the public on foot only.

Public Footpath

BridlewayMarked with a blue arrow and may be used by the public on foot, cycle or on horseback.


Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT)Marked with a red arrow and are available for use on foot, cycle, on horseback and motorised vehicle.

Byway open to all traffic

Restricted BywaysAvailable to users on foot, cycle, horseback & carriage drivers but not to mechanically propelled vehicles. Restricted Byways replaces RUPPS - Roads used as a public path through the countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

Restricted Byway

What is a permissive path?

A permissive path (sometimes called a ‘concessionary path’) is that which the landowner allows the public to use, with the intention that it should not become a public right of way. The landowner may erect notices to that effect and, perhaps, close the path once a year.

Will I encounter livestock on Public Rights of Way?

Yes, livestock can be kept in fields crossed by rights of way.

Bulls over the age of 10 months are prohibited from being kept in a field crossed by a public right of way on their own. Cows or heifers may accompany beef bulls but dairy breed bulls are not permitted, even when accompanied by other cattle.

Can I take a pushchair or wheelchair on a Public Rights of Way?

Pushchairs and wheelchairs are permitted to be taken along public rights of way if it is practical to do so.

Can I take a dog on a Public Right of Way?

You may take your dog with you, provided that it is kept under close control and remains on the path and does not “worry” livestock.

Where can I legally ride my motorcycle?

Motorcycles or quad bikes can be used in your own garden, or on private land if you are the landowner or have the landowner’s express permission, with more information available on our Unlawful use of Motorcycles in the Countryside page.

Report a problem

Responsibility for public rights of way maintenance and enforcement lies within the Countryside Service Team of Lincolnshire County Council. To report a problem please complete this form.

  • Footpath sign

    Accessibility guidance

    The provision of a more accessible public rights of way network.

  • Public Rights of Way Condition Survey

    Condition survey

    Public Rights of Way Condition survey to establish the overall accessibility.

  • Photograph of Ramblers at Fiskerton

    Countryside Access Volunteering

    If you enjoy spending time in the countryside why not volunteer and help manage rights of way.

  • Public footpath sign

    Enforcement policy

    Undertaking enforcement action against those who interfere with the public’s enjoyment.

  • Image of Countryside Access and RoW Improvement Plan

    Improvement Plan

    Highway Authorities have a duty to produce a Rights of Way Improvement Plan.

  • Advice for farmers & landowners


    Landowners and farmers have a key role to play in keeping the access network in good shape.

  • Visit to Gibralter Point

    Local Access Forums

    Local Access Forums (LAFs) provide strategic advice on improving public access to land.

  • Image of gate

    Maintenance and enforcement

    Countryside staff carry out maintenance and enforcement on the public rights of way.

  • Photo of Walkers in the countryside

    Parish Paths Partnership

    The Parish Paths Partnership Scheme will no longer be available from 1 April 2016.

  • Photograph of a muddy bike

    Use of motorcycles

    Important information for owners of trail bikes, mini motorbikes, mini-motos and quad bikes.

Report a problem

Report a problem on a public right of way such as overgrown vegetation or a missing way marker, direct to Countryside Services.

Report a problem

Image Gallery

old oak at Great Gonerby

Admire beautiful photography from the Lincolnshire countryside.

Countryside image gallery

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Last updated: 5 March 2018

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