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Access rights

Public Rights of Way are highways which carry a range of access rights and are recorded on a Definitive Map. They include:


A public highway over which the public has a right of way on foot only.


A public highway over which the public may ride a horse, lead a horse, walk or ride on a pedal cycle. Cyclists must give way to walkers and horse riders.

Restricted Byways

All the above rights plus the public right to drive horse drawn vehicles.

Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT)

All the rights above plus the right to drive mechanically propelled vehicles. The highway authority does not have a duty to provide a surface suitable for vehicles.

Other access includes:

Permissive path

Where the landowner has granted public right of access

Common land

All registered common land is open to public pedestrian access for air and exercise. There is no public right to ride a pedal cycle or a mechanically propelled vehicle on common land.

Open country

Public right of access on foot to areas of mountain, moor, heath and down, plus areas landowners have dedicated for public access. Natural Resources Wales have dedicated its forests under freehold title for public access.

Permissive areas of access

The landowner has granted general public right of access on foot. These include some Country Parks, woodlands owned by the Council or the Woodland Trust, nature reserves and some parts of the coast.


Public right to ride a pedal cycle with or without a right to walk or ride a horse.