Access to public rights of way and Coronavirus

The restrictions on movement announced by the government apply to public rights of way and the countryside access network.

Many people will want to benefit from the beautiful Buckinghamshire Countryside, Parks and Open Spaces. The outdoors is an important place for exercise which has numerous benefits for health and well-being, especially at a time when we are all facing social isolation and increased anxiety. However, people must adhere to government rules and advice for the safety of us all.

Respect people who live and work in the countryside. Please also be aware that some people live very close to public rights of way - including farmers, residential moorings on canal and river towpaths, caravan parks and residential homes. Please consider their need for social distancing close to their homes, treat each other with respect and be aware that some of these people may be in self-isolation because of illness or other vulnerabilities

The rules to adhere to are:

  1. Only use the public rights of way network for lawful access, exercise and for routes to food shops or getting to work. Do not stray from the legal line of the public right of way.
  2. When using ‘honeypot’ sites with large car parks such as Country Parks and visitor attractions or where there are residential moorings please be aware of any ‘Social Distancing’ arrangements that have been put in place. Check our online map of rights of way.
  3. Keep at least 2 metres apart on paths and countryside sites where possible. Allow one metre with appropriate risk mitigations (where 2 metres is not available or viable) from anyone outside your household or support bubble.
  4. You can access Public Rights of Way with your household or personal support bubble.
  5. It is essential to carry, use and take home your tissues and other health products
  6. Where paths use canal towpaths and river banks please respect residents who have limited space and may be in self-isolation due to illness and other vulnerabilities. Consider using other routes to reduce waterside congestion.
  7. Although there’s no evidence of human-animal transference of coronavirus, it is sensible to limit contact with other families’ dogs and farm livestock as part of social distancing. Keep your dog on a lead near livestock.
  8. Please remember to wash your hands and avoid touching your face as other people would have used gates, stiles and other structures before you.

Please continue to enjoy the public rights of way network for exercise and your travel responsibly. Our online reporting system for issues is active but please bear in mind that problem resolution may take longer due to staff unavailability.