Information for Landowners
Most public rights of way run across private land.
- To find out if a particular piece of land is owned by Hampshire County Council look at our Estates website
- Otherwise, for land ownership information contact the Land Registry
- Information for Landowners
- Dogs on your land: Guidance for landowners 1.4mb pdf
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.
Small Grants Scheme
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 may result in it being recognised as an official public right of way. To prevent this, you need to show that, at the relevant time, you did not intend that the path should become a public right of way.
The erection and locking of gates, display of notices, or regular closing of the path can be used to show a lack of intent. So too, can the deposit of a statement and plan with the County Council. One plan and statement can cover all of your land. Find out how to make deposit under a s.31(6) of the Highways Act 1980.
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.
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
- Chilcomb Range (Bridleways 3 and 4 in Chilcomb and Owslebury Bridleway 1)
- Barton Stacey (Moody Down Range – part of Footpath 2)
Red flags will be flown when the rights of way are closed
Further information on MoD closures.
The landowner must
- Keep back side growth and overhanging vegetation which may be encroaching onto the path
- Refrain from obstructing rights of way
- Refrain from ploughing a footpath or bridleway which constitutes the headland of a field, or runs alongside a hedgerow.
- Ensure that paths across fields are reinstated two weeks after ploughing and making sure that the line of a right of way is clear through crops
- Obtain the consent of the County Council before erecting new stiles or gates on rights of way and ensuring that all are kept in a safe and usable condition and replaced when necessary
- Not allow any dairy bull over ten months of age free range of any field through which a footpath or bridleway passes.
The landowner may
- Provide for improved access for dogs
- Protect land against the acquisition of further public rights on their land
- With our prior consent, improve the surface of the right of way beyond the standard required for its status (for example surfacing a footpath that also serves as a driveway)
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.