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It's that time of year again... just use the right of way!

(70 Posts)
jacks11 Sat 09-Apr-16 16:57:33

I've posted before about people wondering through our fields (with or without their dogs), leaving gates open and their rubbish lying about. There is a well maintained right of way they could use, but no- they really seem to prefer to ignore this (and yes, it is well signposted) and use the more direct route through the fields. Not so bad during winter, but can be a pain during spring/summer. So it's starting up again and I am fed up.

There isn't much I can do about it, as the right to roam laws mean the public have the right to do so. In principle I wouldn't mind, but practical experience is that this is increasingly becoming problematic as so many people just do not seem to observe even the most basic responsibilities such as ensuring gates are closed behind them, not leaving litter and keeping their children and pets under control. It's not everyone, but a significant minority are really ignorant and irresponsible.

In the past week, we have had no less than 3 gates left wide open. There is livestock or horses in most of the fields but luckily no significant damage was done as not many escaped.

I have had to ask one family to take their rubbish with them rather than leave it (neatly tied in a plastic bag) and then watched gobsmacked as the mother later attempted to put it in our outside bin- she seemed surprised when I pointed out it was not a public refuse bin and to take it with her.

A couple were trying to let their small child "pat a lamb"- I hate to think what would have happened had they not been stopped from doing so. Same family also had to be asked to stop feeding the ponies (sugar cubes, apples), and father said "oh but she is enjoying it so much"- apparently I am "a miserable killjoy". They are not the first. This is not a petting zoo! Several of my neighbours have had similar- parents wanting their children to play with lambs (even calves!) for some reason. I have even had people (usually with their children) wandering into the yard to have a look at the horses and the lambing pens. I am genuinely gobsmacked that people feel this is appropriate without asking permission.

I already have padlocked the majority of the gates now to prevent them being left open. I have had to have signs warning of livestock in the fields etc. It annoys me that I have to do so. I am now going to look into methods to make it more difficult to get into the fields as it is getting beyond a joke.

Seriously, I am surprised at the number of people who just don't seem to know how to behave. Not sure what can be done though.

Only1scoop Sat 09-Apr-16 17:04:43


My friend has finally after years of negotiation had the local bridal path re routed, it has signs etc to distinguish the new route.

She once had a family picnic outside her window on her patio....

She has had selfish idiots dogs racing round during lambing before as well.... Shocking

The rubbish would send me over the edge.


Pipbin Sat 09-Apr-16 17:08:03

YANBU, there are some people who seem to think that the countryside and farms are just one big attraction and there only for them to enjoy.

I have said countless times that we need the return of the public information film. When I am Queen I'll start them up again and one of the first will be how to behave in the countryside. (Which amount to stick to the path, take your crap with you and leave shit alone)

AnthonyBlanche Sat 09-Apr-16 17:09:06

People are such dicks. There should be an exemption from the right to roam for farmland. We've had similar problems to you in the past and now keep all gates padlocked. Can you run electric wire round top of fences and walls (With appropriate warning notices) to give anyone who tries to get into fields a shock?

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Sat 09-Apr-16 17:13:31

We had this Problem. Right of way through middle of fields and we have horses on the fields. People walking through with dogs all over the fields, leaving shit everywhere.

Have now had six foot high metal fence corridor installed through the fields. Fence is dog proof and person proof so there is just the narrow path that they have to stick to.

Pacothepidgeon Sat 09-Apr-16 17:14:30

I've had to padlock my gate and run electric fence around the inside just out of reach to stop people feeding my horses.

NeedACleverNN Sat 09-Apr-16 17:19:41


Why are people attempting to pet a lamb or a calf?

Your not a bloody petting zoo!

jacks11 Sat 09-Apr-16 17:25:32

Anthony There is electric fence around the outside of the horses fields, but obviously this does not include the gate. It's just ridiculous that I have to even consider going to these lengths when there are well maintained and perfectly accessible right of way that could and should be used.

Need I literally have no idea! They seem to have no idea of the potential dangers/ consequences of this sort of behaviour.

Janecc Sat 09-Apr-16 17:26:46

Sorry I had to laugh at the idiocracy of some people. Surely the dogs have to be under control and on leads around livestock. Mind you some of the general public need leads too! What a waste of money to have to barricade in your land. Follow them home and pour a massive bag of poo all over their car?!

TypicallyEnglishMustard Sat 09-Apr-16 17:27:28

What is wrong with people. I live in Cornwall, tourist season is to be dreaded both in the countryside and on the coast. People just don't know how to behave appropriately, and some definitely DO view it all as one big attraction for them to be amused by.

I can't get over the picnic on the patio, that is beyond cringe-worthy for the stupidity of those people.

NeedACleverNN Sat 09-Apr-16 17:28:34

Cows look docile....until you go and mess with their calves.

Maybe you ought to let the mother tell them off? They might not do it again

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 09-Apr-16 17:30:08

I thought there wasn't a right to roam! So there is?

jacks11 Sat 09-Apr-16 17:30:54


Don't tempt me.... That said, it's not the child's fault that they have an idiot for a parent.

AnthonyBlanche Sat 09-Apr-16 17:32:00

Put some signs on gates warning of dangerous animals. something like "warning! these horses are dangerous" Bit more difficult for sheep "beware of the killer sheep" doesn't seem all that believable 😀

NeedACleverNN Sat 09-Apr-16 17:33:53

beware of the killer sheep" doesn't seem all that believable


They can still give a nasty head butt though!

AnthonyBlanche Sat 09-Apr-16 17:34:34

I had assumed OP is in Scotland Through. We have stupid right to roam laws brought in by the stupid SNP

QuietTiger Sat 09-Apr-16 17:35:37

I feel your pain. We farm next door to a National Trust property and a well used footpath runs through our fields, but doesn't give access to the National Trust property. We have lost count of the number of dipsticks climbing over the fence so that they don't have to walk around the designated route.

Add to that the number of muppets trespassing and letting their dogs off lead to run riot in our lambing fields despite signs advising of lambing and a well marked footpath and DH is almost homicidal with frustration. He's taken to carrying a shot gun and threatening to shoot dogs that are not on leads. We've rarely seen the same offenders twice as a result.

The ultimate was one idiot who let their dog run loose amongst ewes and lambs and tried to argue DH was unreasonable for getting wound up because her dog "was only having fun". I thought he would have a melt down. I loathe walkers and ramblers, even the good ones because the bad ones are such a pain in the arse.

NeedACleverNN Sat 09-Apr-16 17:38:57

I know I'm posting a lot on this page but I really don't get it

How in this day and age and wealth of knowledge do people still not know that dogs and sheep don't mix?!

When I had dogs, if the field had sheep in it, I would walk elsewhere. Lead or no. Not worth worrying a sheep and risking getting billed for loss of lambs

jacks11 Sat 09-Apr-16 17:39:28


The Land Reform Act (2003) in Scotland establishes the right to be on access private land such as farmland, estate land and so on for non-motorised activities (e.g. walking, cycling, horse-riding and wild camping). It also allows access on inland water for canoeing, rowing, sailing and swimming (not fishing). This is more communly referred to as "the right to roam".

museumum Sat 09-Apr-16 17:39:43

For the dogs/sheep I've seen signs telling people that frights from dogs make sheep miscarry. Even occasionally with photos of dead lambs sad
It's shocking but gets the point across.

jacks11 Sat 09-Apr-16 17:40:28

commonly not commonly!

snowgirl29 Sat 09-Apr-16 17:43:10

YNBU. I often take my DCs out for walks when I'm well enough and I can't believe how many people are disrespectful and just plain ignorant.
We have a Deer Park and everyone was walking on the fields to take close up pictures of babies. Despite of all the massive yellow warning signs reminding people they are wild animals and could very possibly twat you one will defend their young. I just remember stood there behind the fence explaining to my two DCs whilst we weren't going to go any further.
I cant imagine how tiresome it must be sometimes.

There is a farming village near us and I noticed a lot of their electric fencing had been taken down. Is that an option for you OP to put some up to help discourage them. I don't know hoe expensive it is. Failing that just let a protective mother sort the parents out wink

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 09-Apr-16 17:43:26

Ah I see. I didn't know that. What a pain.

Our garden in England has a footpath through it, so if we were in Scotland could people roam around our garden?

Dollymixtureyumyum Sat 09-Apr-16 17:43:49

Anyone remember the thread about a year ago when an OP was adamant that a farmer had been unreasonable because she had shouted and sworn at her and her family for allowing their kids to run after the sheep pretending to heard them. angry
No amount of people telling her they had been out of order and probably caused miscarriages in pregnant ewes would convince her otherwise hmm

QuietTiger Sat 09-Apr-16 17:44:25

Museumum - that's a brilliant idea that I think I'll use on the signs next year. Especially the picture idea. Thank you!

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