Managing public rights of way | Oxfordshire County Council

Managing public rights of way

How the Countryside Access Team manages the day-to-day running of public rights of way with others

Did you know...

  • There are over 2000 bridges
  • Nearly 6000 finger posts
  • Nearly 7000 gates
  • 4500 stiles
  • And over 1500 way mark posts

On the Rights of Way network in Oxfordshire?

We manage the Public Rights of Way network in partnership with land managers, user groups and local councils. Our role is to help people enjoy legitimate use of rights of way and ensure that all people and organisations involved with rights of way understand their responsibilities and are able to meet them effectively.

To achieve this we:

  • investigate complaints and take appropriate action as necessary to ensure paths remain reasonably convenient to use
  • work with community groups and parish and town councils and meetings to find local solutions to local challenges - including providing advice and guidance for potential bids to the Trust for Oxfordshire's Environment ( and other grant making organisations
  • Support volunteer groups such as the Ramblers, the Cotswolds Wardens and the Chiltern Society to survey and undertake maintenance and improvement work in the rights of way network
  • signpost nearly all rights of way where they leave a metalled road and direction sign 'way mark' many of them through fields and the rural environment
  • attempt to remove excessive natural vegetation growing on key routes
  • provide and maintain most bridges over natural watercourses
  • provide, in approved cases, support for the maintenance of stiles and gates. We also encourage and support farmers to make access easier by removing stiles where they are no longer needed, replacing stiles with gates wherever possible and making existing gates easier to use
  • provide information to assist users, landowners and others who are involved with public rights of way
  • Manage areas of access land by keeping signs up to date and clearing access points


Last reviewed
15 August 2017
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