Footpaths & Rights of way

Updated: Nov 27


Fingerpost to Higher Chicksgrove

The Parish of Sutton Mandeville is situated in the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB with a comprehensive network of footpaths and bridleways taking in fields and woodland with far ranging views over the Nadder Valley, the Fovant Badges and Sutton Down.


Footpaths are a great way to get out, exercise and enjoy the countryside and it's free!

The network of paths connecting the three main communities within our parish are shown on the Definitive Map, extracts shown below.


All of the local public paths use the SMAN (Sutton Mandeville) prefix, which can be useful for identifying location if reporting any issues. The adjoining footpath designators are SWAL (Swallowcliffe Parish) and FOV (Fovant Parish).


Lower Chicksgrove - Ham Cross

Sutton Row - Sutton Mandeville

Buxbury Hollow - Sutton Down

The fully interactive map of footpaths is available on the Wiltshire Council website:

https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/recreation-rights-of-way


Maintenance and care of footpaths and countryside rights of way is a responsibility divided between the county council and local landowners


Wiltshire Council responsibilities:

  • Making sure public rights of way are free from obstructions and available as shown on the Definitive Map and statement.

  • Clearance of vegetation growing from the surface of the path.

  • Signposting rights of way where they leave a road and waymarking the route where appropriate.

  • Maintaining bridges over natural watercourses.

  • To provide a minimum contribution of 25% towards any costs incurred by a landowner in maintaining stiles and gates on public rights of way.

Landowner responsibilities:

  • Maintain stiles, gates and other boundary crossings.

  • Obtain consent from the highway authority before erecting new stiles or gates on public rights of way.

  • Cut back encroaching hedges, fallen trees or overhanging vegetation that is growing from their land.

  • Keep paths clear of obstructions, padlocked gates, electric fences etc.

  • Ensure no misleading signs are placed near rights of way that might deter people from using the path.

  • Cross-field footpaths and bridleways can be ploughed where it cannot reasonably be avoided as long as they are reinstated within two weeks of ploughing. Byways and Restricted byways must not be ploughed.

  • Paths to be kept clear of crops with a minimum width of:

  • Footpath: 1m across field and 1.5m field edge

  • Bridleway: 2m across field and 3m field edge

  • Other rights of way: 3m across field and 5m field edge


Autumn Colours (November 2021)

Countryside Code


However, we all have a responsibility to be considerate to those living, working in and others enjoying the countryside.


Other Resources


MyWilts App

The app can be used to report issues that you may encounter on your walks:



  • Abandoned cars

  • Weather emergencies (flood)

  • Fly Tipping

  • Pot Holes

  • Dog mess

  • Graffiti




By using this app and taking a photo of the incident on your smart phone you will not only report the issue, but also provide the precise GPS location! Free to use.

https://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/mywilts-online-reporting



Tisbury Footpath Club

The Footpath Club has a varied programme of walks and outings throughout the year, including walks around Sutton Mandeville, Chicksgrove and the Nadder Valley. New members welcome.


The club is also engaged in preservation and maintenance of local footpaths, preserving routes, installing and repairing gates and stiles, way marking and clearing vegetation. For more information: Tisbury Footpath Club




Fingerposts

The classic country fingerpost traditionally made from cast iron or wood and painted white with black lettering most often found on roads, but can also be seen marking the start of footpaths.


A separate article on the fingerposts of the parish of Sutton Mandeville and Chicksgrove to follow.