Most public rights of way run across private land.
If properly used and managed, rights of way can provide access to Hampshire's countryside, without causing disruption to the working or natural environment, and help improve the quality of life.
The Rights of Way team can help you to identify and manage rights of way and other access issues.
We can tell you if there are any recorded rights of way on your land; you may also look at our online maps, or inspect the definitive map at our offices.
We can advise on your rights and responsibilities, making changes to currrent Rights of Way, and will offer guidance on how to protect your land from new Rights of Way.
This scheme offers up to 50% funding to landowners towards work to improve access to their local countryside.
More information on the Small Grants Scheme
Regular use by the public of an informal path, or land for lawful sports and pastimes, can result in those rights being formalised and recorded. You can protect your land against claims for public rights of way, or village green rights, by showing that, at the relevant time, you did not intend these rights to be acquired.
This can be done by physical actions such as displaying notices, fencing the land or locking gates. It can also be achieved by the deposit of a combined document, under a new provision in the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013. This allows you to submit a deposit under section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 and a landowner statement under section 15A(1) of the Commons Act 2006 on the same document.
With effect from 1 October 2013 Hampshire County Council will only accept Section 31(6) deposits on the new form CA16.
Find out how to make a deposit using Form CA16. You can deposit:
Giving permission to the public to use a path can protect it against becoming a public right of way. We would be happy to discuss the provision of permissive access with you. Please contact our Countryside Access Development Officer, tel 0845 603 5636.
You will be notified if anyone applies to record a new public right of way across your land. We have produced guidance notes to help you deal with such a claim. You are welcome to discuss the procedures with our Map Team, tel 0845 603 5636. If your land is subject to a claim for village green rights, you will be informed by our Commons Registration Team, tel 0845 603 5636.
It is a criminal offence to discharge a firearm over a carriageway without lawful authority or excuse if, as a result, a user of the way is injured, endangered or interrupted. A carriageway includes a restricted byway or byway open to all traffic. It is also an offence to have a firearm, together with ammunition, in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.
Though there is no right to close a right of way to allow shooting to take place, shoots should always be arranged in such a way as to avoid danger or inconvenience to users of the rights of way network.
Some rights of way over land occupied by the Ministry of Defence may be closed for operational reasons. The areas affected in Hampshire are on
Red flags will be flown when the rights of way are closed
Further information on MoD closures.
The landowner must
The landowner may
Plough Crops and Paths A practical guide for landowners and tenants 259kb pdf
The landowner has the right to expect that visitors on their land will treat it with respect and care and follow the Countryside Code. The County Council will do what it can to ensure that rights of way are not used inappropriately.