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The countryside is a shared space for us all to enjoy. Access for all is vitally important, everyone should be able to explore our nation’s beautiful open spaces however they choose to travel. Understanding where we can legally walk, cycle, horse ride, or drive, and which other users we may find ourselves sharing our rights of way with is the first step to planning your next outdoor adventure.


  • Our countryside is a working environment and our largest asset, always treat it with respect
  • Take some time to plan your route before you leave
  • Remember that our rights of way are shared spaces and you may meet horses, cyclists, motorcyclists or cars along the way
  • You may come across gates and pass through properties, leave them as you find them
  • You are bound to come across other users or land managers/workers, always be polite when using shared spaces
  • Stick to the legal route, if you are unsure of access rights it would be prudent to avoid taking a chance
  • Meeting wildlife or livestock can be very enjoyable but never approach, instead appreciate them from a distance
  • Exercising dogs and horses is a great way to spend your free time, always ensure that they are kept under control especially around other users, livestock and wildlife
  • If you meet other users with animals respect their space and keep a safe distance
  • Having a picnic is great fun, but never feed any farm animals or wildlife
  • Always remember to take any litter home and never light a fire, keep BBQs under control
  • Many people have to travel to access the countryside, visitors are always welcome. Ensure that you park respectfully and do not block access to land or property when arriving
  • Take nothing but photographs and leave everything as you found it
  • Dispose of litter and dog poo appropriately, or take it home if there are no local facilities
  • Enjoy your time in the great outdoors!

Advice for non-vehicular users

  • Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATs) and UCRs are public roads and therefore shared spaces open to all user groups however they choose to travel
  • Only 3% of the rights of way network are open to vehicles, if you do not wish to meet a vehicle on your route plan to use footpaths, bridleways, or restricted byways instead
  • If you choose to use BOATs or UCRs remember that you are using a public road and may well come into contact with motorised users
  • Keep dogs and children safe just as you would on a tarmac road
  • Avoid taking horses that are skittish around vehicles onto a BOAT or UCR, use a bridleway or restricted byway instead
  • Be polite to vehicular users, they are using legal public roads and like you are enjoying the countryside. Smile and Wave!

Advice for motorised users

  • BOATs and UCRs are open to all traffic, give way to walkers, cyclists and horse riders
  • When approaching a horse pull over, stop, and turn your engine off until they have passed. If riding a motorcycle remove your helmet too
  • Remember there could be dogs, horses, and children about, be vigilant and maintain a slow speed at all times
  • Be polite to all other users, everyone is out for the same reason - to enjoy their day in the beautiful countryside. Smile and Wave!

Reporting a problem

Hopefully your day will go as planned, but if you notice an issue the following links may be of help:

Vehicular routes -

Non-vehicular routes -

Anti-social behaviour – the Police on 101, or 999 in a serious emergency


Useful contacts

The Green Lane Association –

British Horse Society -

Ramblers -

Cycling -

The Countryside Code England -

The Countryside Code Wales -

BDS British Driving Society -

The TRF -