Footpaths & horses

Published: 05 January 2024

Any owner of an animal should consider the behaviour of their animal before considering putting in fields with Public Right of Way running through. The owner should do a risk assessment to show they have considered all the risks. If there is the potential for the animal to cause harm, then it is advisable for them to either not keep it where the public have access, or consider a way of keeping the public safe – i.e. electric fencing. Should an accident occur to a member of the public by the animal, then the owner of the animal is liable.

If you encounter a problem with an animal(s) on a Public Right of Way, you may contact the Countryside Service with details, for example: What type of animals, how many there are, colours, etc,  and a description of what happened. The Countryside Service can then investigate further. It’s always helpful if you have an idea who the owner is likely to be.

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