Public Rights of Way
The paragraph below is from the booklet
Five Walks around Wendron
by Bill Scolding
which was published in April 2009 with financial help from
Awards for All
Cornwall County Council
and the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site Partnership
Copies of the booklet may be purchased from the Clerk to Wendron Parish Council
for £5.00 postage included
A memorial in the churchyard opposite Wendron church has a curious tale to tell. In 1838, Porkellis miner Thomas Johns was working in Rio de Janeiro and bought a seven-year-old slave boy, Evaristo Muchovela, originally from Mozambique. When illness drove Johns homewards in 1860, he offered the African the choice of staying in Brazil as a free man, or coming to Cornwall to live with him as a paid servant. Evaristo chose Wendron over Rio, but soon after, in January 1861, Johns died of consumption. Alone, in an alien country, Evaristo took lodgings with retired farmer Joseph Gundrey in Porkellis, and went to work for cabinetmaker William Wales in Redruth, who considered his apprentice a first-class workman. Seven years later, Evaristo succumbed to the same disease, and was buried in his former master’s grave: ‘distinction’s lost and caste is o’er, the slave is now a slave no more.’ Inspired by the grave, Helston writer Patrick Carroll wrote the play Evaristo’s Epitaph, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2002.
Wendron Parish has over 110 km of Public Rights of Way (PRoWs), which includes footpaths, bridleways and byways. The Parish Council is committed to ensuring our footpaths remain open and usable and works with Cornwall Council to improve our paths for all users.
Click here for an interactive map of all the Public Rights of Way within the Parish of Wendron. (To find the path number, click on the path itself.)
What is a Public Right of Way?
Public Rights of Way are legally designated routes over which any member of the public has a right to pass. All PRoWs are defined on a map (the Definitive Map) held by Cornwall Council and each one is identified by a number (beginning with 232 in Wendron). Any route marked on the Definitive Map is a PRoW regardless of its level of usage or its state.
There are three types of PRoW:
Footpaths can be accessed only on foot. Pushchairs etc. are permitted and it is legal to push a bicycle or lead a horse but not ride one.
Bridleways are open to horses and cyclists as well as pedestrians. Adjacent landowners may access their land with vehicles but should not damage the surface of the path
Byways are open to pedestrians, horse-riders, cyclists and vehicles.
Rights and responsibilities
There is a lot of confusion over the various rights and responsibilities associated with PRoWs and they are poorly understood. If you are in doubt about your own rights in relation to footpaths, you should contact Cornwall Council or an appropriate legal advisor.
Most PRoWs cross private land and it is usually the responsibility of the landowner or occupier to ensure that the path is safe and usable. As in other circumstances, landowners have a duty of care towards anyone accessing their land and must take reasonable steps to prevent injury. It is illegal to prevent the public accessing a PRoW or to give misleading information in order to deter them.
Cornwall Council is responsible for overseeing PRoWs throughout the county and protecting them from misuse.
The Parish Council has no duties to protect or improve footpaths, but working with Cornwall Council under the Local Maintenance Partnership agreement does help to look after them.
Walkers and horse-riders also have a big part to play in looking after our PRoWs. It is essential that all users of PRoWs are familiar with the Countryside Code and are respectful of other people’s property, which includes sticking to the path as shown on up-to-date OS maps. Any problems on PRoWs should be reported to Cornwall Council as soon as possible And if you regularly use PRoWs, why not take a pair of secateurs with you to snip back overgrowth around stiles and gates, or a plastic bag to collect litter?
The Right to Roam – Open Access Land
The Right to Roam created by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act gives pedestrians the right to walk freely on certain designated areas of land called Open Access Land, which usually includes areas of common land. Within the parish of Wendron there are a number of areas of open access land including Porkellis Moor and Calvadnack Hill. You can view a (small) map of Open Access Land by clicking here
What you can and can’t do on Open Access Land
You can use access land for walking, running, watching wildlife and climbing.
There are certain activities you can’t usually do on open access land, including:
taking animals other than dogs on to the land
driving a vehicle (except a mobility vehicle)
But you can use access land for horse-riding and cycling if:
the landowner allows it
public bridleways or byways cross the land – horse riders and cyclists can ride along these
there are local traditions, or rights, of access.
Report problems with open access land
You can report problems to your local access authority – contact them through your local council.
You can also contact the Open Access Contact Centre by e-mail or by telephoning 0300 060 2091 for information about open access land in England.
Information for Dog Users
The law does not specifically allow dogs on PRoWs though, if challenged, most authorities would count them as a “reasonable accompaniment”.
Dogs must be kept under close control at all times on PRoWs or on access land or common land. You must be confident in your dog’s obedience if you need to call it and you should not let it out of your sight. If you cannot call your dog to heel, don’t let it off the lead.
Your dog must be kept on a short lead between 1st March and 31st July on access land and at all times on other PRoWs when livestock are nearby. It is trespass to allow your dog to stray from the line of a footpath so don’t allow it to wander fields, even if they’re empty.
Be aware that livestock (especially with young) may chase your dog if it gets too near. If you are chased, let your dog go and protect yourself first. Don’t forget that farmers have a right to destroy any dog which is worrying their livestock.
Always pick up your dog litter and dispose of it properly, no matter where you are.