Countryside access

Gaps, gates and stiles

We carry out work to improve stiles and gates on the public rights of way network. 

By law, stiles and gates must be safe and reasonably easy to use. Landowners need to have permission before they can install new stiles or gates.

If we have to inspect a stile or gate for any reason, we check whether or not it is allowed on the right of way. If it is unauthorised, we will ask the landowner to remove it or put the necessary permissions in place. If permission is granted, then we make sure that stile or gate is up to standard.

We use the legal process as far as possible to replace difficult or dilapidated stiles with easily accessible gates. Even if a stile is allowed, we encourage the landowner to give us permission to replace it with a gate.

We also ensure that when public rights of way are diverted, there are no stiles - only easily accessible gates.