Peasants on the Roadway?


While driving through the English countryside, one can often stumble across signs marking public footpaths or public bridle-paths.  These trails (ways, as they are called here) are part of the heritage and history of the landscape, many of them have been around since peasants, and perhaps pheasants, roamed the land.  They are part of the open access lands laws that protect the public’s right of access by foot (or horse on bridle-paths) for open air recreation.  The public is allowed to travel along these paths to hike, sight-see, bird-watch, run even as they cross private lands.  A land-owner can’t deny access because they own land the footpaths cross unless it is to protect the natural resources or public safety.  Camping, riding, vehicles, etc. are all prohibited along the way, but the right to wander is considered fundamental (even for the pheasants).

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I am a professor of Political Science at Colorado Mesa University on sabbatical in the fall semester 2018. I study public land policy and a wide variety of other subjects. Currently I am studying about European Landscape Policies while on sabbatical. That is the focus of this blog.

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