There are many laws relevant to public rights of way, and this is only a brief guide. The Countryside Commission, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Ramblers’ Association, the Scottish Rights of Way Society, and the Open Spaces Society publish a comprehensive range of literature on the subject. The voluntary societies are very active in pursuing the legal rights of walkers. The information in this chapter does not apply to paths that are not public rights of way. Paths giving access to the various categories of land described here are not subject to these responsibilities, unless they are also rights of way.
The following section applies to public rights of way in England and Wales.