On this page you will find some of the most common questions that Services staff are asked on a regular basis and the answers to those questions, or directions to the page where you will be able to find the answers.
For more frequently asked questions for Outdoor Recreation, please download the 'Your Questions answered' document at the bottom of the page.
Who is responsible for my local recreation area?
The chances are that the Outdoor Recreation Service is! We are responsible for the provision of local amenity spaces and play provision; although in some circumstances your local Parish or Town Council may be responsible. In the first instance please contact the Outdoor Recreation Service.
Who should I get in touch with to complain about the condition of my local recreation area?
The Outdoor Recreation Service at Shropshire Council.
Why don’t we provide litter bins at our countryside sites?
Many of our sites are in very rural settings and it can be difficult to ensure that we have the staff resources needed to empty litter bins on a regular basis.
It has been found that, in general, people who would normally put their litter in a bin will take their litter home if there are no bins and those people who carelessly dispose of their litter will continue do so anyway, bins or no bins. In fact bins generate a lot of litter around them!
The majority of our sites do not have refreshment outlets or anything that would generate litter on site. Therefore, we are keen to encourage people to take their own litter home with them and perhaps consider how we may all reduce the amount produced in the first place.
Who provides dog bins?
Dog Bins are installed and maintained by the Environmental Services Department of Shropshire Council. Most Countryside Heritage Sites have them at or near the car park or main entrances. They are emptied either once or twice a week depending on the level of use. Dog mess can also be bagged and placed in litter bins.
Can I take a dog on a public right of way?
Yes, a dog is considered a ‘usual accompaniment’ of a person on foot. Nonetheless this entitlement is confined to the line of the path and only exists whilst the dog is accompanied by its owner/ keeper. Owners must not allow their dog to wander off the legal line of the path otherwise this would be classed as trespass for which the landowner could take civil action.
Although a dog is considered a 'usual accompaniment' to a walker, there is no legal duty placed on landowners to provide access to rights of way for dogs.
The law does not rule that a dog be kept on a lead whilst accompanied on a public right of way, but rather that it must be kept under close control. However the ‘Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act of 1953’ makes it an offence to allow a dog to chase or attack livestock, or to be ‘at large’ in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep. ‘At large’ is defined as not on a lead, or otherwise under close control.
What is a Public Right of Way?
It is a right to pass over someone's land along a specific route. Public rights of way are more commonly known as:
Public Footpath - on foot only
- normally wide enough for two adults to walk side by side.
- should be a minimum of 1 metre wide across a field and 1.5 metres wide around the field edge.
- stiles and gates provide access through hedges and fences; bridges across streams and drains.
Bridleway - on foot, horseback and pedal cycle
- should be a minimum of least 2 metres wide across a field and 3 metres wide around the field edge
- sufficient headroom (4 metres) for horse and rider.
- no stiles; gates should be wide enough for horses and easily opened on horseback.
Restricted Byway (RB) for use by non motorised vehicles
for example horse and cart, horses, pedal cycle or on foot (many of these routes used to be recorded as Roads used as Public Paths (RUPP's) however provisions within the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW) which came into force on the 2 May 2006 converted all RUPP's to Restricted Byways)
Byway open to all traffic (BOAT) - on foot, horseback, pedal cycle and wheeled vehicles of all kind
- mainly used by the public for walking and riding
- surface may not be suitable for motor vehicles
- should be a minimum of at least 3 metres wide across a field and 5 metres wide around the field edge
- gates should be wide enough for vehicle access
Rights of way can be found in towns, villages and the countryside. Some paths may be surfaced but many are tracks across countryside owned by farmers and landowners.
Public footpaths are not to be confused with highway footways which are pavements to the side of the road and dealt with by highways.
Be careful to distinguish between public rights of way and private rights of way. The Council does not hold records of private rights of access, wayleaves or easements. Different rules apply - you should seek your own legal advice on such matters.
Can I move a right of way which is on my land?
Yes, a landowner can apply for a Diversion Order. Footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways can be diverted under the Highway Act 1980 or the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, if there is a planning application pending. The alteration of a byway open to all traffic must go before a Magistrate Court.
To apply for a diversion order contact the Public Paths Officer at Shropshire Council.
Can you tell me where my nearest Walking for Health Group is and who I should contact?
Contact the Outdoor Recreation Team and ask to speak to the Walking for Life Officer who can put you in touch with a local Walking for Health Group and other opportunities for physical activity within the countryside.
Where can I volunteer in the countryside?
Follow the link to our ‘Where to volunteer’ page to find out about volunteering with the Outdoor Recreation Team.
Alternatively, establish your own group in your parish to take on a specific project such as a churchyard conservation plan or a tree planting project or a school wildlife garden, support is available through the Council to take this forward and seek funds. Follow the link to 'Improve your local environment'.