Inspections and maintenance

The Public Rights of Way Warden Team is responsible for the inspection, maintenance and enforcement work on the public rights of way, off-road cycleways/recreational trails and maintenance category 12 roads (these are normally roads that do not have a tarmacked surface).

The county is divided into 10 areas with a warden for each area. View the wardens’ areas on a map.

The network is inspected with the following frequency:

Category Frequency
Public rights of way Every three years
Maintenance category 12 roads Every three years
South West Coast Path Annually
Off-road cycleways/Recreational trails Annually

They are inspected against the Public Rights of Way Condition Criteria.

The wardens’ work is supported by the Parish Paths Partnership Scheme.

The majority of practical work is done using contractors that have signed up to the Maintenance and Improvement of Public Rights of Way Contract.

Surface improvement application form

If you are considering improving the surface of a public right of way (for example, to make a route easier to drive along if you have private vehicular access rights over a public bridleway) then you need Devon County Council’s permission to do this. Please read, complete and return this application form. There is currently no charge for considering such applications.

Installing a new gate application form

If you plan to install a gate across a public right of way where no gate currently exists, you are required to seek approval from Devon County Council under Section 147 of the Highways Act 1980. Please use this application form. Note, Devon County Council will not authorise a stile at a location where there is not already a stile present. For advice about gates on public rights of way please email