REPORTING OBSTRUCTIONS and INTIMIDATIONS on FOOTPATHS
Your Society was present at a recent meeting chaired by the Cornwall Council’s Rights of Way Enforcement Officer along with representatives of the Ramblers, the British Horse Society and the Health and Safety Executive [H&SE] to discuss, amongst other topics, footpath obstructions and intimidating animals.
Last year Cornwall Council [CC] issued almost two hundred warnings to farmers in the west of county who had allowed crops to obstruct public rights of way. Reoffenders this year will be threatened with a stiffer sanction. If members know of such problems let the Society know so that it can gather the evidence and forward it to CC.
A couple of years ago the H&SE successfully prosecuted a farmer on the Lizard whose cows nearly trampled to death a walker. To bring a successful prosecution the H&SE had to be able to prove that there had been a history of repeat offences rather than just an isolated incident. So that the H&SE can build up these histories, and minimise the chances of these incidents happening in the future, members are asked to report any incidents of intimidation by livestock. These incidents can involve any beasts, horses, cattle, llamas etc. and do not need to involve injury. The walker only needs to be fearful for their safety. On a more serious level if a walker is bitten by a dog this must be reported to the police and the officer must issue a crime number.
PLOUGHING and CROP REPORTS
In 2014 Cornwall Council issued over 200 farmers with notices informing them that they had allowed a public right of way over their land to be obstructed either by not reinstating the path within fourteen days of ploughing or by allowing a crop to grow across the path. This year, and in following years, repeat offenders will be given five days to comply with enforcement orders and notification that they may find their rural payments affected if they do not comply.
Because the county has only one enforcement officer, who cannot be everywhere, she has to rely heavily on reports from the general public. If members think they know of any ploughing or cropping issues let your Society know. The evidence will then be gathered and forwarded to the enforcement officer further action.
|Several Booklets are available on the Cornwall Council website, along with a variety of additional information of interest to WCFPS Members. A few links are given here but there is much more to see when you take the time to browse.|
|Gates and Stiles|
|Ploughing and Cropping on Public Rights of Way|
|Definitive Map and Statement|
|Useful forms, leaflets and guidance notes|