Footpaths & Public Rights of Way
Little Maplestead has many delightful footpaths and bridleways for exploring the parish on foot, bicycle or horseback.
These are Public Rights of Way for pedestrians only.
You are allowed to walk your dog as long as it is under your close control. When walking a dog, you must ensure that it keeps to the public footpath and does not trespass into nearby properties. Prams, pushchairs or wheelchairs can also be used on a footpath.
Footpaths on the edge of a field must not be ploughed, except where they cross fields - however, a minimum width of 1 metre must be made available within 14 days of ploughing. Landowners must also ensure that they restore footpaths after ploughing.
These are Public Rights of Way for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
Bridleways on the edge of a field must not be ploughed, except where they cross over fields. Like with footpaths, landowners must also clear a minimum width of 2 metres within 14 days of commencing ploughing. Landowners must also ensure that they restore bridleways after ploughing.
Motorcars, mini-motors and motorcycles are not allowed on bridleways.
Things you should know...
- It is a criminal offence under the Highways Act 1980 for a landowner to obstruct a Public Right of Way. An obstruction is anything which interferes with your right to use the path or bridleway, for example: a barbed wire fence, a padlocked gate, dumped rubbish, chained or loose dogs or manure dumped on the path. Dense undergrowth is not normally treated as an obstruction but is dealt with under path maintenance. The Highways Authority has the right to demand that landowners remove any obstruction; if they don’t, the Authority can take action to remove the obstruction and recover its costs from the landowner.
- Landowners must ensure that vegetation does not encroach onto a Public Right of Way from the sides or above, bearing in mind the various clearances needed for differing users; for example horse riders.
- It is considered that, for most purposes, the surface of any Public Right of Way belongs to the Highways Authority - this means the actual surface and as much of the soil below and the air above as is necessary for the control, protection and maintenance of the path or bridleway. The rest normally belongs to the owner of the surrounding land.
- You should not drop or leave litter on a Public Right of Way.
- If you are walking a dog, you must make sure that it does not stray off the legal lines of the footpath or bridleway, as this may constitute an act of trepass. If your dog fouls on a footpath please ensure that you clean up after it, or at least push the dog waste off the path.
Dog Waste Bins
These are provided in 2 locations around the parish:
- at the start of Footpath 17 on the A131 Sudbury Road, just to the east of the Cock Road junction
- in the playing field, near the School Road entrance.
Dog owners should not use general litter bins for dog waste, nor leave bags of dog waste dumped in the open.