Farmers' responsibilities

The role of farmers in helping us to maintain Oxfordshire's rights of way.

We work closely with landowners and farmers whose role is:

  • to know where public rights of way cross their land and to ensure that contractors and other staff are
    made aware of the location of rights of way when undertaking work on their land
  • to maintain established stiles and gates in a safe condition for public use (see our guidance note on stiles and gates for more information)
  • to seek and obtain consent from us before installing new gates (new stiles will generally not be authorised)
  • to keep paths free from obstructions and overhanging vegetation
  • to never plough a public right of way along a field edge, or any byway or restricted byway
  • to reinstate footpaths and bridleways across fields after ploughing or cultivation and keep them free of crops to legal minimum widths (see our guidance note on ploughing and cropping for more information)
  • to not keep animals they know to be dangerous in a field through which a public right of way passes
  • to ensure that beef bulls over 10 months are kept with cows or heifers and that dairy bulls over 10 months are never put in a field through which a public right of way passes
  • to never deter the public from using a public right of way (including putting up misleading signs) and never endanger the public.