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chuck norris

Cutting Fallen trees from public footpaths?

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One has every right to remove sufficient of an obstruction to enable one to walk past it, this does not give one the right to remove the obstacle from the whole path. I don't know the rights or wrongs of using a chainsaw to do it but I'd be happy to do it with a handsaw.
 
You could see if the council have appointed a volunteer path warden for this path and offer to do it.
 
Our local Ramblers footpath secretary liaises with the county  council, whose rights of way budget has been reduced from £500k/annum to £100k/annum, and they cover volunteers for insurance purposes to deveg footpaths (no power tools though).
 
Myself, depending on location, I'd just do it.

Bit big for a handsaw, since it is bout 16' where it blocks the path.

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I would not be desecrate . Hi viz plenty of signage . Stripy keep out/hazard   tape accros the path whilst you are cutting and a loud ported saw . All looks official and for the greater good .

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Do it early on a Sunday morning when everyone is in bed or as near dusk as it safe assuming it is a fair distance from homes. You are doing a service, not taking anything and is hardly criminal damage. If anyone asks, just say you are clearing a public footpath. Footpaths outside of towns are rarely looked after and only stay clear because of footfall, I have felt like carrying a hedge trimmer on many an occasion.

If you look the part, most will think you are a council worker anyway and will probably be happy some bugger cares!

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Most people would hand their children and car keys over if anyone with hi vis and a clipboard asked them to. Just crack on.

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I would not be desecrate . Hi viz plenty of signage . Stripy keep out/hazard   tape accros the path whilst you are cutting and a loud ported saw . All looks official and for the greater good .



I'd second that approach, you mot being malicious if anything your doing the land owner a favour. Just cover all bases safety wise so Noone can complain.

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I'm with the "crack on with it" crew". I've thought about it a few times on a local walk and a couple of days ago someone had done it and carted the big branch away so they must have been official or had the right tackle.

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Yeah, I wish to amend my position - just do it, daytime, chainsaw, tape&sign etc. In Eire we remove fallen trees on main roads every winter, forget waiting for the council, locals just get out and do it. And we take the wood as well. Self reliance keeps civilisation going, we are manly men not dependent children.

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To the best of my knowledge (based on information I was given about 40 years ago) you can legally remove an obstruction such as a fallen tree from a public right of way sufficient to pass but you (a) mustn't remove any arisings (which would be theft) and (b) you mustn't set out intending to remove the obstruction. This latter has implications since if you are equipped with a chainsaw it suggests that you had intent, unless you just happen routinely to carry one. I beleive that you can also deviate from a ROW to the minimum extent necessary to pass an obstruction.

 

The correct procedure (for a footpath, bridleway, or unsurfaced vehiclular ROW) is to report the obstruction to the LA who then should instruct the landowner (who generally is the responsible party) to clear the ROW. The problem comes when the landowner does nothing, or as noted earlier in the thread cuts the tree so that walkers can pass but not 4x4s; if the ROW has vehicular rights this would be a reasonably serious offence of obstruction (an arrestable offence, I believe).

 

As I say this is based on info I was given back in the late 1970s when I used to do a lot of what is now called greenlaning, but long before it became fashionable and antisocial, and all the greenlanes were turned into "restricted byways" as a result. It is interesting, as a side note, to see lanes that i used to drive and which were clear of vegetation, become completely impassable even to walkers now that 4x4s have been banned. There can't have been too much of a conlict of use on some of them if the volume of foot traffic is so low that they are now impassable.

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