Author Topic: Responsibility For Footpath Marking  (Read 494 times)

happyhiker

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 656
Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« on: 14:04:08, 24/06/20 »
Often when walking across farmland, footpaths are poorly marked or not at all or they start off well marked then the markings stop, maybe at an ownership boundary. If you end up going where you shouldn't, one argument is that it's the landowners fault for not marking the path more clearly. The other is that it's the walker's fault for not map reading properly. Where do Forum members stand on this?

vghikers

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1413
Re: Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« Reply #1 on: 14:39:40, 24/06/20 »
In my understanding, the landowners have responsibility for maintaining a reasonable unhindered line of passage along the right of way.
If a footpath passes through a boundary like a fence, wall or hedge, a reasonable crossing must be present such as a stile or gate, but I don't think they have any obligation to sign them with waymarks or fingerposts.

In parts, even national trails might only be signed at the points where they depart from a road, cross a prominent boundary or at a multiway junction.

WhitstableDave

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 785
Re: Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« Reply #2 on: 14:56:31, 24/06/20 »
I always think of waymarkers as occasional and welcome confirmation that I'm on the right path; I certainly wouldn't rely on them to find my way.

As I understand it, waymarking is the responsibility of the local authority. Or perhaps I should say that when I've reported problems with missing waymarkers or waymarkers pointing the wrong way to the Kent County Council PRoW department, they've sometimes fixed the problem!

As for whose responsibility it is to cross farmland on the correct line, I'd say you should be doing your very best to go where you believe the path ought to be. Having said that, I always have my Satmap GPS with me when I'm in an area that's new to me, so it's always easy to stay on the correct line, even when no path can be seen.

barewirewalker

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3307
Re: Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« Reply #3 on: 18:01:13, 24/06/20 »
I think Vghikers has summed the responsibility for marking correctly. I remember chatting to a farmer in mid Wales a few years ago, it was fairly remote and as the way was not very well marked I asked if I was on the right track. He told me the council had sent him a pack of waymark discs a year or so previous and that they were probably still in the drawer in the kitchen, though the wife might have sent them to the church fete to sell as coasters. He was a friendly fellow and didn't seem to be too concerned where I walked.

Now in south Cheshire a few days ago, I found the stump of a fingerpost clearly chopped off by a disc hedge cutter, this was just one of a number of clues that suggest those, who do the contract work for landowners, think they are following the local attitude to public access by inflicting damage the infrastructure. On the other hand a few weeks ago walking within an estate that clearly do not value walkers and rather they were not there, the crop ways were meticulously left clear.This I think is a sign that the management of that land was mostly contracted out and the contractor does his homework properly, in planning his cropwork.

I think there is a lot to be learnt about how messages get through to the various interests that occupy, administer and work in the countryside. I have tried to ask if the difference between farmer and landowner is relevant to us users, a lot can be learnt about an area about how the occupiers respect those who visit their localities.
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

BuzyG

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1785
Re: Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« Reply #4 on: 18:26:56, 24/06/20 »
Locally to us the council look after signage on many of the RoW.  It may be that is because the signs to them or from public roads. 


I'ts been interesting over the years chatting to landowners repairing gates and styles.  I recall chatting to a young chap last summer, who was just finishing off a gate.  I commended his work, then mentioned the style at the other end of the field could do with his skills, to be told that one was maintained by the council.  I think it's still slowly falling apart.

GinAndPlatonic

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 910
Re: Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« Reply #5 on: 17:02:58, 26/06/20 »
Locally to us the council look after signage on many of the RoW.  It may be that is because the signs to them or from public roads. 


I'ts been interesting over the years chatting to landowners repairing gates and styles.  I recall chatting to a young chap last summer, who was just finishing off a gate.  I commended his work, then mentioned the style at the other end of the field could do with his skills, to be told that one was maintained by the council.  I think it's still slowly falling apart.
 

I have seen some repairs done that were a tad ad hock ( possibly by the landowners contractor or even local walking groups ) but still robust and very usable even at times , better than some stiles that have been repaired to a set standard by the council . I praise the councils standards of repair in Worcestershire and of late in Shropshire for there continuing great work though . It seems that metal gates are often the norm nowadays too . I love wood but hey ho , whatever lasts longer is best .

I cannot vouch for the state of repair to some stiles and bridges of late in the Cotswolds but a few years back I noticed they were pretty dire . The signs were often non existent , maybe because walkers were being taken for granted as there were so many , and the powers to be thought the directions were obvious .


gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4703
Re: Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« Reply #6 on: 18:40:01, 26/06/20 »
France, in my view, has the best footpath marking, and again in my view, their system is far superior to ours.

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6691
Re: Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« Reply #7 on: 19:17:31, 26/06/20 »
France, in my view, has the best footpath marking, and again in my view, their system is far superior to ours.
Try Germany or Austria - even better and supported by tourist board websites.
Solvitur Ambulando

Leicslad

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« Reply #8 on: 21:14:00, 26/06/20 »
I really think landowners/farmers who don't clearly indicate the rights of way are shooting themselves in the foot. If they don't want people wandering all over the wrong bits of their land, the best thing they can do is make it easy to navigate the official footpath. I suspect they are of the beleif that if they allow the stiles and signage to fall into disrepair, then people might stop coming through frustration.

strawy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 125
Re: Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« Reply #9 on: 22:04:38, 26/06/20 »
I really think landowners/farmers who don't clearly indicate the rights of way are shooting themselves in the foot. If they don't want people wandering all over the wrong bits of their land, the best thing they can do is make it easy to navigate the official footpath. I suspect they are of the beleif that if they allow the stiles and signage to fall into disrepair, then people might stop coming through frustration.
My thoughts too,especially around farmyards.
I hate walking through them,i always feel like i,m invading their privacy/workplace.
Had a chat with a farmer,pointed out a much easier way,he agreed and said he had suggested it to the local county council,they refused.

BuzyG

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1785
Re: Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« Reply #10 on: 22:35:54, 26/06/20 »
Try Germany or Austria - even better and supported by tourist board websites.
Try New Zealand.  ;)

Mel

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9655
Re: Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« Reply #11 on: 22:37:36, 26/06/20 »

...Had a chat with a farmer,pointed out a much easier way,he agreed and said he had suggested it to the local county council,they refused.

That's bonkers!  Why doesn't he just create a permissive path with signage saying "permissive path avoiding working yard/machinery/livestock"?  Most people will gladly follow any sign that says "avoiding livestock"  :D
I'm tired of people bein' ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. - John Coffey, The Green Mile

strawy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 125
Re: Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« Reply #12 on: 22:46:43, 26/06/20 »
That's bonkers!  Why doesn't he just create a permissive path with signage saying "permissive path avoiding working yard/machinery/livestock"?  Most people will gladly follow any sign that says "avoiding livestock"  :D
He did,and they told him to take it down because he hadnt got permission.
I,m only going on what he said,he seemed genuine  ;)

Mel

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9655
Re: Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« Reply #13 on: 22:51:43, 26/06/20 »

Maybe he secretly prefers the path to go through his yard so he can yap to all the people passing through ;D



I'm tired of people bein' ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. - John Coffey, The Green Mile

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6691
Re: Responsibility For Footpath Marking
« Reply #14 on: 23:24:53, 26/06/20 »
Try New Zealand.  ;)
I have.  NZ is limited in a lot of areas.  There is no such thing as a public footpath as we would know it.  My Kiwi daughter-in-law was amazed when I took her on the SWCP, not because that existed but rather the abundance of PROWs leading to and from the main path running across private land.  In NZ, you walk where they say you can, there are a lot of great trails great mind but this thread is more about way marking.  Once you get off the major "tourist" trails in NZ, the way marking is not much better than UK.  Germany and Austria have loads more well way marked and signposted trails with times and distances and as I said, you can go on the appropriate website to see what is available, how it is graded and so on and then download it.
Solvitur Ambulando