23rd April 2024

Enjoy thousands of miles of Public Rights of Way across Essex’s countryside this spring
Landowners urged to keep footpaths, byways and bridleways clear and accessible.

With the weather warming up, it’s the ideal time to explore the wonderful Essex countryside.

And this spring, Essex Highways is encouraging residents to explore the county’s many Public Right of Way (PRoW) routes using its interactive online map.

PRoWs are routes that provide safer, greener and healthier access to the countryside for walkers, cyclists and equestrians.

They are important, particularly as walking in nature is proven to have benefits for both mind and body.

To ensure residents can access the 4,000 miles of PRoWs in Essex, it is important landowners keep the routes clear and accessible.

Landowners with PRoWs on their land are responsible for:

  • making sure they remain visible and free from any obstruction
  • ensuring vegetation is not overgrown and that paths are safe and accessible
  • avoiding cultivation on field edges, or across field routes, to allow for safe passage – when cultivating is necessary, ensure routes remain clear on the ground and not obstructed by crop
  • ensuring waymarking and warning signs are clear from obstruction – these can be added to a route if official signs do not make route clear

Increased funding approved by Essex County Council this year will see an increase in resources to monitor PRoW access.

It will also assist Essex Highways to liaise with landowners to keep them visible and free from obstructions.

Residents can use an online interactive map to plan their routes across the Essex Public Rights of Way network.

Tom Blackburne-Maze, Director of Highways and Transport at Essex County Council, said: “PRoW routes are vital in ensuring residents have access to our beautiful Essex countryside, allowing everyone to gain the mental and physical health benefits that walking, cycling or riding horses in the countryside can offer.

“Working with landowners to make sure that PRoW routes remain visible and clear for everyone ahead of warmer weather is just one way Essex Highways is working hard to keep residents moving in safer, greener, and healthier ways.”