Outdoor Partnerships Frequently asked questions

On this page you'll find some of the most common questions that services staff are asked on a regular basis and the answers to those questions, or directions to the page where you'll be able to find the answers.

Who's responsible for my local recreation area?

Responsibility for the provision of local amenity spaces and play provision is now with ‘Streetscene’ within Shropshire Council, although in some circumstances your local arish or town council may be responsible. Please contact our Environmental Maintenance Team to check.

The Outdoor Partnerships Service is responsible for The Mere at Ellesmere, Severn Valley Country Park and 21 Countryside Heritage Sites across Shropshire. 

Who should I get in touch with to complain about the condition of my local recreation area?

Why don’t you provide litter bins at your countryside sites?

Many of our sites are in very rural settings and it can be difficult to ensure that we have the staff resources needed to empty litter bins on a regular basis. It has been found that, in general, people who would normally put their litter in a bin will take their litter home if there are no bins, and those people who carelessly dispose of their litter will continue do so anyway, bins or no bins. In fact bins generate a lot of litter around them!

The majority of our sites don't have refreshment outlets or anything that would generate litter on site. Therefore, we're keen to encourage people to take their own litter home with them and perhaps consider how we may all reduce the amount produced in the first place.

Who provides dog bins?

Dog bins are installed and maintained by our Environmental Maintenance Team. Most countryside heritage sites have them at or near the car park or main entrances. They're emptied either once or twice a week depending on the level of use. Dog mess can also be bagged and placed in litter bins.

Can I take a dog on a public right of way?

Yes, a dog is considered a ‘usual accompaniment’ of a person on foot. Nonetheless this entitlement is confined to the line of the path and only exists whilst the dog is accompanied by its owner/keeper. Owners must not allow their dog to wander off the legal line of the path as this is classed as trespass, for which the landowner could take civil action.

Although a dog is considered a 'usual accompaniment' to a walker, there's no legal duty placed on landowners to provide access to rights of way for dogs.

The law doesn't rule that a dog be kept on a lead whilst accompanied on a public right of way, but rather that it must be kept under close control. However the ‘Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act of 1953’ makes it an offence to allow a dog to chase or attack livestock, or to be ‘at large’ in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep. ‘At large’ is defined as not on a lead, or otherwise under close control.

Find out more information about walking with dogs on the Shropshire Great Outdoors website.

What is a public right of way?

It's a right to pass over someone's land along a specific route. Public rights of way are more commonly known as:

Public footpath - on foot only

  • Normally wide enough for two adults to walk side by side
  • Should be a minimum of one metre wide across a field, and 1.5 metres wide around the field edge
  • Stiles and gates provide access through hedges and fences, and bridges cross streams and drains

Bridleway - on foot, horseback and pedal cycle

  • Should be a minimum of least two metres wide across a field and three metres wide around the field edge
  • Sufficient headroom (four metres) for horse and rider
  • No stiles; gates should be wide enough for horses and easily opened on horseback

Restricted byway (RB) - for use by non-motorised vehicles 

For example horse and cart, horses, pedal cycle or on foot. Many of these routes used to be recorded as 'roads used as public paths' (RUPPs). However, provisions within the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW), which came into force on the 2 May 2006, converted all RUPPs to restricted byways.

Byway open to all traffic (BOAT) - on foot, horseback, pedal cycle and wheeled vehicles of all kind

  • Mainly used by the public for walking and riding
  • Surface may not be suitable for motor vehicles
  • Should be a minimum of at least three metres wide across a field and five metres wide around the field edge
  • Gates should be wide enough for vehicle access

Rights of way can be found in towns, villages and the countryside. Some paths may be surfaced but many are tracks across countryside owned by farmers and landowners. Public footpaths are not to be confused with highway footways, which are pavements to the side of the road and dealt with by highways. Be careful to distinguish between public rights of way and private rights of way. We don't hold records of private rights of access, wayleaves or easements. Different rules apply - you should seek your own legal advice on such matters.

Can I move a right of way which is on my land?

Yes, a landowner can apply for a diversion order. Footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways can be diverted under the Highway Act 1980 or the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 if there's a planning application pending. The alteration of a byway open to all traffic must go before a magistrate court. More information about the responsibilities of landowners with rights of way on their land is available on our Shropshire Great Outdoors website.

Where is my nearest Walking for Health group?

Contact one of the walking coordinators or go to the Shropshire Great Outdoors website for more information.

Where can I volunteer in the countryside?

Volunteering opportunities helping maintain rights of way, country parks and countryside heritage sites are available on our Shropshire Great Outdoors website

What can I do to try and improve my local environment?

You could establish your own group in your parish to take on a specific project such as a churchyard conservation plan or a tree planting project or a school wildlife garden. We offer support to take this forward and seek funds.

Even small greenspaces can provide a stepping stone for wildlife, a calm relaxing space for quiet recreation, a splash of natural landscaping in an urban jungle and the green lungs of your neighbourhood.

If your community needs help, advice and inspiration to realise the potential of your local park, village green, play area, waste ground or roadside verge please get in touch.

Where can I fish in Shropshire?

Fishing in the Shrewsbury area

Shropshire Anglers Federation lease the rights to waters in the Shrewsbury area. Day tickets and permits are available to the public. For a map of fishing available to the public near Shrewsbury, take a look at our public fishing Shrewsbury document.

Shropshire Anglers' Federation was founded in 1921 and responsible for about 3,000 permit holders who use waters local to Shrewsbury. The SAF is responsible for the enforcement of by-laws and the collection of revenues through annual and day permit sales, which are available from local tackle shops. Bank permits are also available via any one of their six-man bailiff team.

For other places to fish around Shropshire try the go-fish website or the Canal and River Trust website.