12 August 1997
Farmers told not to block public footpaths

By FWi staff

FARMERS carrying out the annual plough-up in the wake of the cereals harvest have been urged to restore public footpaths and bridleways after cultivation.

The Country Landowners Association has called for producers to observe the ploughing code and fulfil their legal responsibility to safeguard public rights of way – or risk prosecution and heavy fines.

Farmers must also make sure that rights of way do not become blocked by growing crops and adjoining vegetation. They have also been reminded to maintain stiles and gates across public rights of way.

CLA mid-Wales regional secretary Julian Salmon said county highway authorities can take legal action against farmers who ignore their legal duty to respect public rights of way.

Mr Salmon said highway authorities can exercise their right to enter private land and remove obstructions from paths and then send a bill to the farmer – who also runs the risk of up being fined up to £400 for each offence.