Geography GCSE: What are public rights of way?

How do you know when you have right of way? Using a map, paths marked by green lines are public rights of way open to everyone.

They can even run through private property. Footpaths are marked by closely dashed green lines – these are restricted to walkers.

Bridleways, which are marked by longer dashed green lines, permit horse riders and cyclists.

Restricted byways allow people to travel by any form of transport that does not have a motor.

Another set of paths commonly found on maps are marked in orange and these are permissive rights of way.

They mean that a landowner has granted access to use the path in some circumstances.

The access can be withdrawn at any time. Some areas are known as right to roam areas – paths can be marked here with black dotted lines.

Access land has a yellow tint and is marked by an orange boundary.

Sometimes restrictions are placed on access land and information can usually be found on noticeboards.

This clip is from the series Get Lost.

Teacher Notes

This could be used when discussing map reading or using maps to navigate.

It could also be helpful prior to commencing fieldwork in introducing public rights of way, footpaths, bridlepaths and byways.

Students could be encouraged to understand the concepts of access land, right to roam, restrictions and trespassing.

Discuss the importance of observing their surroundings and matching them to marks and paths on a map.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Geography.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC KS4/GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 in Scotland