Reporting problems with rights of way

When out walking or enjoying the woodlands, paths and trails in the National Forest you may encounter problems such as overgrown paths, obstructions, misleading signs, or damaged bridges, stiles or gates. We welcome any help in reporting issues which prevent or impair access, or are a hazard to public safety.

What is a right of way?

There are over 3,000km* of public rights of way across the National Forest. These are legally designated paths which allow the public to walk, or sometimes ride, cycle or drive along specific routes. They cross land which belongs to someone else — this includes public footpaths, bridleways and byways. The existence of a right of way is shown on a definitive map held by the County Council.

Permissive paths

Many of the new woodlands and green spaces created in the National Forest allow access which is permitted by the landowner, but is not on a public right of way. This may give access to all or part of the land, and is granted at the landowner’s discretion. The permission can be changed or removed at any time without prior notice or consultation, unlike a right of way. Do check signage on site for information about where you can walk, keep to obvious and mown paths and respect fences and locked gates.

Our waymarked trails

We have designed a number of waymarked walking routes which explore the best bits of the National Forest. There are 16 circular walks, ranging from 5-16 miles and our flagship long distance walk - the 75 mile National Forest Way. This is divided into 12 stages, so you can enjoy it in smaller sections!

How to report a problem

We welcome any help in reporting issues which prevent or impair access, or are a hazard to public safety. If the problem is on a right of way, please report it to the relevant County Council. All have online reporting forms, as well as email or telephone contact details. To report a problem on one of our promoted walking routes, or a permissive path please contact us. 


More information

Explore a trail

Looking to head of on a woodland adventure? There are hundreds of miles of paths and trails to explore in the National Forest, and plenty of places accessible for all ages and abilities.

Be a responsible visitor

To help keep the National Forest safe and enjoyable for others we’ve put together some simple rules to help protect the natural environment, people and nature.