The existence, or alleged existence, of public rights of way over private land can be a source of much controversy and we recognise the strong feelings that can be engendered from the recording of routes on Definitive Maps during the 1950s and subsequently. The impact of maintenance and enforcement work carried out by highway authorities can also create difficulties for landowners and managers who, while sensitive to the need to provide access for the public, also face the pressures of running a business in the countryside.

We have developed a specialist expertise in this complex area of law, acting for private and public sector clients nationwide. Our team has a wealth of experience in all matters relating to public rights of way and access to land and the related subjects of town and village greens and common land. We have a strong reputation for providing representation at public inquiries into claims to add rights of way to the Definitive Map and claims to register new village greens.

Legislation provides for the public rights of way network to evolve to meet changing needs. Yet achieving a change, whether for agricultural, development or other land management reasons, can be a time-consuming and complicated process. We have special expertise in this area and contacts with many of the local authorities around the country to which applications need to be made.