A permissive path, sometimes termed a concessionary path, is a route which the landowner permits the public to use, with the intention that it should not become a public right of way.
Permitted paths should be seen as a supplement to the rights of way network, not as a substitute for rights of way, particularly if the definitive route is obstructed.
To ensure that the public does not acquire a right of way, it is advisable for a landowner to erect Notices to that effect. An example of such a Notice is set out below:
"This path is private property and is not a public highway. Members of the public are allowed to use the path on the strict understanding that such use will not in any way constitute or contribute to the dedication of a highway under Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980, and that the landowner reserves the right to close it either temporarily or permanently at any time."
The landowner may wish to close the path at certain times of the year and remains responsible for the maintenance of the path, including its surface.
Public access is also sometimes allowed to land that is subject to a Countryside Stewardship Scheme. Such routes are administered by the Department for Farming and Rural Affairs