Footpaths, bridleways and other public rights of way

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Public rights of way are open to everyone. They can be roads, paths or tracks and can go through towns, countryside and over private property. Powys has over 12,000 individual public rights of way, many of which are used for recreation - particularly walking, cycling, horse-riding and driving 'off-road'.


Footpaths signageFootpaths

Footpaths can only be used by walkers. You can take a 'usual accompaniment', such as a pushchair. You can take a dog with you, but you must keep it under close control.

Please note that footpaths are not the same as 'footways', which is another word for pavements. If you have a problem with a footway please see our page about reporting a problem with a road, pavement or bridge.



Bridleway signageBridleways

Bridleways can be used by walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. There may also be rights for stock-droving, such as with sheep and cattle. 

If you need accurate information on the route, then you can inspect the Definitive Map. This is available to view at The Gwalia, Llandrindod Wells.



Restricted byways signageRestricted Byways

A new category of right of way, formerly known as a Road Used a Public Path (RUPP). The rights are the same as for bridleways, but you can also use horse-drawn carts and carriages. You can't drive motorised vehicles on restricted byways. 



BOAT signageByway open to all traffic (BOAT)

These have the same rights as restricted byways, but you can also drive motorised vehicles. 




Where are Public Rights of Way?

Ordnance Survey 'Explorer' maps give general information on public rights of way. However, they aren't 100% accurate, as they don't always reflect changes to the path network. If you need accurate information on the precise line and status of a route, then you should inspect the Definitive Map which is maintained by the council.



What about private rights?

We don't keep records of private rights of access (easements). If you have any issues with private rights, you should seek legal advice. 


Development and public rights of way

We want to encourage high quality design in the built environment, and improve the health and wellbeing of the people who live in Powys by making sure they have access to the outdoors for recreation and exercise.

Making changes to public rights of way

The Definitive Map and accompanying written statement is the legal record of public rights of way in Powys.

Improvement Plan

The Rights of Way Improvement Plan sets out how the council will plan and prioritise improvements to the current access available in the county.


An application must be made to us to temporarily close or divert a public right of way for safety reasons, or to carry out necessary works.

Rights and Responsibilities

FInd out what the councils responsibilities are and what the landowners responsibilities are.


Many rights of way cross agricultural land, and may be affected by farming activities.

Hazards and dangerous behaviour

We're responsible for making sure that public rights of way are safe.


Find out how we deal with obstructions here.


Signing of Public Rights of Way; Way Marking and Misleading signs and notices


Barbed wire fences across a public right of way; Barbed wire alongside a public right of way; Electric fences across a public right of way; Electric fences alongside a public right of way and Rope across a public right of way


Cutting hedges and trees next to public rights of way; clearing undergrowth; using pesticides and herbicides; and dealing with litter and fly-tipping.

Stiles, gates, bridges and culvert

The landowner is responsible for making sure that any stiles and gates are kept in a good state of repair. We share responsibility for the repair and maintenance of bridges and culverts with landowners and our exact responsibilities are different in each case.

Rights of Way Contacts

If you have any queries contact please contact us.

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