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?
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:
|Footpath||Marked with a yellow arrow and should be used by the public on foot only.|
|Bridleway||Marked 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.|
|Restricted Byways||Available 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.|
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 the Rights of Way Report Form.
Farmers and landowners have a key role to play in keeping the access network in good shape.
Highway Authorities have a duty to produce a Rights of Way Improvement Plan.
Local Access Forums (LAFs) provide strategic advice on improving public access to land.
Countryside staff carry out maintenance and enforcement on the public rights of way Lincolnshire County Council is responsible for managing.
The Parish Paths Partnership Scheme will no longer be available from 1 April 2016.
Over recent years the County Council has carried out an annual Public Rights of Way Condition survey.
Volunteer and help manage your local rights of way.
The provision of a more accessible public rights of way network is a key focus of the Lincolnshire Countryside Access and Rights of Way Improvement Plan.
The Enforcement Policy is designed to assist officers of the County Council in undertaking effective and efficient enforcement action against those who interfere with the public’s enjoyment of the rights of way network.
Important information for owners of trail bikes, including mini motorbikes, mini-motos and quad bikes.