Can I plough a PRoW on my land?
Farmers and landowners can only plough cross-field footpaths and bridleways where it cannot be avoided. It is a legal requirement that these paths are reinstated by making sure it is reasonably convenient to use and clearly marked on the ground within 14 days of ploughing.
Any subsequent disturbance of the same path (e.g. harrowing) should be reinstated within 24 hours.
It is not permissible to plough
- any field-edge right of way
- restricted byway
- any Byway Open To All Traffic (BOAT)
The Rights of Way Act 1990 sets out legal widths for the reinstatement of public rights of way after ploughing or sowing crops.
Paths that have been disturbed should be reinstated to a minimum width of:
- 1.0 metre for a crossfield footpath
- 2.0 metres for a crossfield bridleway
Farmers are not permitted to plough field edge paths and the minimum widths that should be left undisturbed are:
- 1.5 metres for a field edge footpath
- 3.0 metres for a field edge bridleway
Further information and advice can be found in the leaflet and guidance below.