With approximately 500 miles or 800 kilometres of public rights of way within Caerphilly county borough linking our villages and towns they are a fantastic resource for accessing our beautiful countryside. If you're not using them. look at what you're missing...
A public right of way is a path recorded on the Definitive Map and Statement under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. These paths can vary in nature from rural to urban paths but shouldn’t be confused with ‘footways’ which are ways set aside for pedestrians at the edge of a carriageway (usually known as a pavement).
Footpaths – over which the right of way is on foot only.
Bridleways – over which the right of way is on foot, riding or leading a horse and on pedal cycles.
Restricted Byway – (formally a Road Used as a Public Path – or a RUPP) – over which the right of way is on foot, riding or leading a horse, and also in or on vehicles other than mechanically-propelled vehicles – which gives a right of way for pedal cycles and drivers of horse-drawn vehicles.
Byway Open To All Traffic – over which the right of way is for vehicular traffic, but is used mainly for the purposes for which footpaths and bridleways are used.
Green Lane – a term which holds no legal meaning. It is instead more of a description of the nature of a track, which may, or may not carry public rights of way. These paths are therefore not recorded on the definitive map.
Permissive paths - where the landowner (which may be the Council) has given permission for the public to walk across their land. These paths are also not recorded on the definitive map.
Now that you know what public rights of way (PROW) are, how do you go about making the most of them to see our beautiful countryside?
The PROW network is marked on Ordnance Survey maps. The Explorer series is the most useful for walkers and cyclists (Explorer 166 covers most of the county borough). You can use your map to plan routes before you head out for your walk. Almost all PROW paths are signposted from a road and are often waymarked across fields via stiles and gates using the colour coded arrows above. Within the South Wales valleys, it isn't long before you can walk along the ridgelines of the hills, enjoying fantastic views and feeling a million miles away from the daily grind below.
Please remember that the countryside is a working landscape and follow the Country Code.
More information about the following aspects of public rights of way is available on the main Caerphilly CBC website or you can contact the Rights of Way Section:
Rights of Way Section, Ty Bargoed, 1 Gladys Way, Bargoed, CF81 8AB
Tel: 01443 866645/866669