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. Instead, you can download our advisory poster and place it at the entrance to the path, if you are concerned about the behaviour of the users.
Please adhere to the current Government advice on exercising outdoors. See most recent 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 or 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 and to take care when approaching animals with their young. This is particularly important at this time of year when sheep farmers are busy with spring lambs. Pregnant ewes and then new born lambs are especially vulnerable at this time of year. When walking your dog in areas used by other people it is advised that dogs are kept on a lead if a physical distance of 2 metres cannot be adhered to. Please follow the Countryside Code for more information on how to safely enjoy green spaces.
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.