Public rights of way can be footpaths, bridle paths, restricted byways and byways open to all traffic. 

There are over 9000 public rights of way in Somerset. We are responsible for making sure that the network of paths is free from obstruction and easy to use. The Exmoor National Park Authority maintains public rights of way in Exmoor National Park. 

You can report problems on public rights of way by using our Explore Somerset map. Click on the + on the bottom left of the page, then click on the public right of way where there is a problem.

Once you have logged the problem on the map it will be picked up by a member of our maintenance team. 

We will then investigate and prioritise the fault depending on its severity and the type of path it is on. You can track the progress of problems using our Explore Somerset map. 

Most problems are dealt with relatively quickly. Problems that involve third parties in some way, such as landowners, the Environment Agency, or land agents can take longer to resolve. 


We refer to the Public Rights of Way Maintenance and Enforcement Policy document when dealing with problems on the public rights of way network. It was adopted by Somerset County Council’s Executive Board in 2005 and refreshed in 2015 as part of the second Rights of Way Improvement Plan. 

You can also find out about common issues on public rights of way from the ‘Downloads’ section of this page. 

These include: 

  • Crop spraying 
  • Animals (bulls, dogs) 
  • Bridges 
  • Electric fences 
  • Intimidation and nuisance 
  • Obstructions 
  • Ploughing and cropping 
  • Shooting 
  • Signposting and way marking 
  • Stiles and gates 
  • Surface 

Last reviewed: March 12, 2024 by Qi

Next review due: September 12, 2024

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