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Rights of way charter

Coronavirus - latest guidance 

Updated government guidance is  the best way to protect yourself and others from coronavirus is to stay alert.

Advice for rights of way users

When using public footpaths and bridleways, please:

  • Leave gates on rights of way as you find them.
  • Follow the Countryside Code.
  • Wash your hands when you return home.

Please help us to keep the sites safe, usable and wildlife friendly: 

  • Taking your litter home so our staff can focus on critical operations
  • Stay on paths
  • Keep dogs under effective control, particularly around livestock and wildlife.

If you encounter a problem when using the path network please report it to us.  

Important, please note: The Rights of Way Charter deadlines remain affected by the COVID -19 coronavirus pandemic. We have large backlogs of reports to work through and whilst we are attempting to respond to the more serious Category 1 and 2 issues within our normal time scales, this may not be possible at this time. Issues categorised as 3, 4 or ploughing and cropping will be addressed only if resources allow. We have not been able to work with volunteers in 2020 and 2021 and this has also impacted on our ability to deliver on the ground.

Staffordshire has an extensive public rights of way network, comprising over 8,000 individual routes, spanning over 4,500km. 

We work with landowners, parish councils and user groups to protect the public's right to use and enjoy the network. 

Whilst every footpath and bridleway is important, an approach is needed that concentrates our limited rights of way resources on those routes and issues that deliver the greatest benefit. Therefore, each route has been assessed against nine criteria (such as demand, proximity to publicly accessible land and local services), which places it into one of three categories - A, B and C. Each category has a different response time, dependant on the issue identified. For example, a missing fingerpost on an A category route will be dealt with sooner than a missing fingerpost on a C category route. The exception to this is where an issue poses an imminent danger, likely to result in a significant accident or injury, and in these instances, we will respond straightaway, regardless of a route’s category. 

The rights of way charter (459 KB) sets out the standards that we aim to meet when we have received an enquiry. Please note that these are desired standards and they are dependent on many factors, including available manpower and budget, weather and ground conditions, accessibility to the site, and environmental issues.

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