Countryside access - frequently asked questions

1) I want to report something on a public right of way - who should I contact?

You should first look at the management map to see which area is responsible for your report. Then use the information in 'contact us' to send in your report. If you are not sure, then email

Rights of Way Management

2) I would like to find out more about open access - who should I contact?

Natural England's website should be your first port of call. It contains information about the Countryside Code as well as interactive maps which show any relevant restrictions. If you are a landowner there is information for you there too. There is even a help line telephone number.

Natural England's Open Access Website

3) Where can I see maps of local rights of way?

You can view an interactive website map from here. Navigate to the 'opportunities' page. Also, you can buy Ordnance Survey maps to take out with you, which show rights of way and open access land. These are available from bookshops and stationery shops, and even online from the Ordnance Survey website.

Buy a map from Ordnance Survey

4) I would like to learn more about map reading, where do I start?

Ordnance Survey publish some excellent leaflets to get you started. They can be downloaded or ordered free.

Ordnance Survey map reading leaflets

5) Where can I find out more about countryside access rights and responsibilities?

The Countryside Agency print a booklet which is designed to answer all your questions, whether you are a user or a landowner. It can be downloaded or ordered free.

Managing Public Access booklet

6) Which locally promoted recreational routes do Cumbria County Council recognise?

We recognise the following: 1) The Pennine Way 2) Hadrian's Wall National Trail 3) The Pennine Bridleway 4) The Cumbria Way 5) The Dales Way 6) The Pennine Journey 7) Dales High Way

Plans showing the routes may be viewed on our Promoted Routes Noticeboard.


7) What is the Local Access Forum?

The Local Access Forum is an independent, statutory advisory body established under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, 2000. Cumbria's Local Access Forum (sometimes abbreviated to LAF) is a strong and successful one. Its role is to provide advice on countryside access issues in Cumbria, such as provisions on access to open country, and the development of the Rights of Way Improvement Plan. It is made up of 22 voluntary members, who represent landowning, user-group, nature conservation and other interests. There is a separate Local Access Forum for the Lake District National Park and Yorkshire Dales National Park areas - use the 'contact us' page to find out how to reach them.

Cumbria Local Access Forum