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Frequently Asked Questions - Public Rights of Way

What are Public Rights of Way?

A Public Right of Way is a route over which the public have a legal right under highways laws to use. Rights of Way can be found in towns, villages, across farmland and through woodland. Some paths may be surfaced, although most are tracks across privately owned land. Public footpaths should not be confused with highway footways, for example pavements to the side of a road, as these are maintained by the Highways Department.

All motor vehicles are prohibited on footpaths and bridleways and it is a criminal offence to drive on them unless you are the landowner, have the express consent of the landowner, or have private vehicular access rights which run along the route.

You can view an online map of Public Rights of Way using the online mapping system.

How to recognise a Public Right of Way?

Public Rights of Way are commonly known as public footpaths, public bridleways and public byways. Owing to the length of the network and, in some instances, due to legal anomalies associated with the Definitive Map, not all Rights of Way are signposted. However, we try our best to signpost our popular routes. You will see the following waymark discs on signposts or somewhere prominent along the paths, occasionally you may see variations of these on routes that have their own unique waymark discs, but they should all be based on the following: -

 Footpaths - use on foot only

 Bridleways - use on foot, horseback and bicycle

 Byways - open to all traffic (ie on foot, horseback, bicycle and motor vehicles) - don't expect a hard surface though!

 If you see this symbol it means you are not restricted to Public Rights of Way - see link to access land. Where access land ends you will see a red line across the disc

'UCR's' or 'Green Lanes' are maintained by the Highways Department.

Rights of Way statistics for WCBC

The Public Rights of Way network in Wrexham County Borough consists of:

  • Length of footpaths = 783 km
  • Length of bridleways = 60 km
  • Length of byways = 7 km
  • Total length of Rights of Ways = 850 km
  • Total number of Rights of Way = 1456
  • Length of National Trails / long distance routes / other promoted routes = 367 km (Further information about promoted routes)

My map reading isn't very good, is there an easy way to start walking?

Map reading skills aren't essential to enjoy a good walk. View our walking opportunities in the County Borough. In addition there are many published guides for local walks. There are 5 or 6 books of walks in our area including about 30 leaflets of single walks. They are an excellent introduction to the Rights of Way network. You can find them in the Tourist Information Centre, bookshops and several other outlets.

Further Links

Useful external links