Owners and occupiers of land over which Public Rights of Way lead are reminded that the public have a legal right to use a Public Right of Way, and that they should not block or obstruct paths/ways.  National guidance is being updated regularly and we will be assessing any new updates.  We are working in a constantly moving environment as government regularly update their advice.

We would like to ask the public to please consider the concerns of landowners where Public Rights of Way lead near homes and family.  To prevent the spread of the virus we ask the public to not at any time stray from a Public Right of Way to approach buildings, farm animals or pets belonging to those properties.  Please maintain social distancing and hand-wash/sanitise after touching any shared surfaces.

Please bear with us while we work through the challenges that the current conditions present. Further information can be found at


Public rights of way can be roads, paths or tracks and can run through towns, countryside or private property. You can walk on all public rights of way. Some are also open to horse riders, cyclists or motorists.

Different types of public rights of way and how to use them are explained in Rights of way and accessing land.

Who looks after public rights of way in Bolton?

As the Highway Authority, we are responsible for the management of public rights of way. Many run across privately owned land and the responsibility for looking after these is shared between us and the landowner.

Landowners and farmers responsibilities

  • keeping all paths free from obstruction
  • cutting back overhanging vegetation
  • reinstatement of paths after ploughing and keeping them clear of growing crops
  • maintaining gates and stiles
  • not ploughing paths that run along a field edge

See our frequently asked questions for further information.

Report a problem with a public right of way

If you notice a problem or a blocked public right of way, contact us.

Rights of Way Improvement Plan

All highway authorities in England and Wales have to produce a Rights of Way Improvement Plan. The purpose of these plans is to identify the current and projected future needs of the public with regards to public rights of way, and to plan for the provision of shortfalls in the network.

See our Improvement Plan.