Obstruction and Encroachment
Whilst it might sometimes seem sensible to block a public right of way for land management reasons and provide an alternative route, the law does not allow for this on an informal basis. If you need to block or alter a path for any reason, please contact a Ranger to discuss the situation. In some instances it may be possible to temporarily close the path and to provide a temporary alternative route.
Where there is a need for a long term or permanent change to the route of a public right of way, it may be appropriate to seek a diversion. This is a formal procedure including an element of public consultation which, if confirmed, results in the legal alteration of the path's route. In some cases, the National Park Authority is able to waive part or all of the costs of diversions and temporary path closures, particularly where there is a clear public benefit.
Where a public right of way has been blocked or altered in the past such that the route no longer matches that held on record by the County Council, some form of action will need to be taken to rectify the situation. This may involve reopening the recorded line of the path or seeking a legal diversion. Again, in some cases the National Park Authority is able to waive part or all of the costs involved.
If you would like to check the recorded lines of paths on your land, please see either Somerset or Devon County Council's online mapping for an approximate guide or contact a Ranger. If you have noticed that the legally recorded line is not the line that is available on your land, please contact a Ranger to discuss how we can assist you in resolving the matter.
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