West Berkshire Council

What about Public Rights of Way?

Information about Public Rights of Way during the coronavirus pandemic.

Our Public Rights of Way Rangers and contractors are currently busy working on the winter maintenance schedule and addressing other reported issues. Social distancing is extremely important in order to keep the operatives of the machinery and the public safe. Before starting work they are displaying signs which ask you to keep a social distance and where necessary to make sure the operatives see you before you proceed.

In a small number of cases where paths are very narrow and/or winding we are temporarily closing the paths whilst the clearance is taking place. Signs clearly state the path is temporarily closed.

Please take heed of these signs to keep everyone safe. These are the signs you are likely to see: Coronavirus Path clearance warning sign in situ Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Path clearance work sign
 or pdf icon Coronavirus, path closed for maintenance sign [256kb] or pdf icon Path works social distancing sign [227kb].

Please also make sure you are following the Countryside Code.

A special Coronavirus Countryside Code has recently been produced by Defra.


Please note that public rights of way remain open and no closures will take place unless there is an identified need. Current advice is that all situations can be met by observing hygiene, distancing, and exercising close to home.

Please view the National Farmers Union (NFU) guidance on public rights of way.  

Also, please see the video from DEFRA relating to the countryside code and coronavirus.

If you 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, and consider using other routes.

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.

Please see the latest guidance from DEFRA about accessing green spaces

The NFU (National Farmers' Union) has produced two signs that concerned landowners can erect on public rights of way: pdf icon NFU Coronavirus sign 1 [20kb] and pdf icon NFU Coronavirus sign 2 [17kb]