Livestock and public access

Livestock farming is a vital part of Exmoor’s history and future, as is public enjoyment of the National Park. Although rare in practice, there can be potential for conflict between these two activities but this can be reduced with good management which will also ensure public safety and reduce liability for farmers.

Detailed guidance for livestock farmers is available via the Health and Safety Executive website.

If you are considering putting up signs to inform path users, please contact the Access and Recreation Team who will be able to assist.

We would encourage land managers to consider enclosure of a public right of way with parallel fencing as a last resort.  If you are considering permanent fencing alongside a public right of way to protect the public, we would ask that before doing so you consider the following points.

New fencing can:

create an additional maintenance burden for the land manager
look unsightly in the landscape
lead to poaching of the path surface
and create a need for additional path surface strimming.

We ask that farmers contact the Access and Recreation Team if considering fencing alongside a public right of way to ensure that this is undertaken in such a way as to comply with public rights of way legislation and so that we can take account of any future additional maintenance requirement.

Please feel free to contact the Access and Recreation Team at Exmoor National Park Authority for any advice or assistance in relation to this subject, particularly with regard to signage and fencing of paths.


Contact us on 01398 323665 or email us