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Helping you to find your way Waymarker indicating public footpaths

Rights of way and countryside access

The rangers maintain the public rights of way within the National Park so that they remain safe and easy to use. These include footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways and byways open to all traffic.

Raising the standards of all public rights of way in the National Park is one of the objectives agreed by the Authority and a wide range of local partner organisations in the National Park Management Plan 2019-24.

The individual landowners are responsible for the crossing points such as stiles and gates, although the rangers will maintain them or assist landowners when requested.

The rangers are responsible for the maintenance of the surface of public rights of way, and look after small bridges on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council and Cumbria Country Council.

The rangers should be the first port of call for any enquiries about rights of way in the National Park including:

  • Infrastructure such as gates, stile and bridges;
  • drainage works;
  • surfacing;
  • existing signage;
  • additional signage or waymarking;
  • obstructions to the free passage of the public;
  • authorising new crossing points if a landowner wishes to erect a fence, for example;
  • creations/diversions/extinctions of rights of way.

62% of the National Park is ‘Open Access’. This means that over 62% of the Park, there is a right for the public to access the land on foot for activities such as walking, running and climbing.

Open Access has provided a much larger area for the public to explore, and the rangers are able to help landowners and the public to improve the opportunities. For example we may be able to help by installing stiles or gates to prevent walls been damaged by people climbing over them. We may also be able to install additional signage or information points, or perhaps install new access routes to an area of access land.

If you would like to discuss any issues on a public right of way or access land, either as a land owner, or as a visitor, please get in touch with the appropriate area ranger using the contact details on the ranger pages.You can also send a general enquiry through to