We recognise that public rights of way and walking and cycling trails in Devon provide an opportunity for people to take exercise and get some fresh air in these difficult times. These paths should not be blocked or obstructed.
Current Government advice is that the risk of the coronavirus being passed on to others outdoors is considered to be low as long as people maintain social distancing. You can therefore now leave your home to exercise and spend time outdoors for recreation. Please see the latest Government guidance on access to green spaces for further information about what you can and cannot do when exercising and spending time outdoors.
Where rights of way pass close to, or through residential and agricultural properties, it is important that the Government advice regarding social distancing and hand washing is adhered to. Please also see additional Natural England advice on use of public rights of way, including advice for affected landowners.
Dog owners are reminded to act responsibly and keep their dogs under close control. This is particularly important at this time of year when sheep farmers are busy with spring lambs. Please follow the Countryside Code.
If there is a problem with people gathering on rights of way or walking and cycling trails, then the Police should be informed. They have the power to disperse any groups behaving in such a way.
The County Council will work with the police and other agencies to take any further actions necessary in the event of any changes to legislation or Government guidance, however, at this time there are no plans nor legal means to close public rights of way or the walking and cycling trail networks for Covid-19 related reasons.
If you have a public right of way through your property you may like to download this information poster which we have produced to help raise awareness.