Village Public Pathways


The Rights of Way Officers receive a number of complaints from residents regarding trees and other vegetation, overhanging and obstructing public footpaths and pavements within their village.

We are extremely fortunate in Bedfordshire in having a number of footpaths that provide convenient pedestrian links to important areas of the village.  Many of these routes are used by the elderly and those without access to a car and as our children’s shortcut to school. As car travel and associated road safety issues are on the increase nationally and locally, we also want to actively promote the health benefits of local travel on foot and having clear, safe off-road routes to school that can not only be enjoyed by us all but also help to ease the growing traffic and parking congestion within villages.  

In order for our footpaths to be useful to us, they need to be free from obstruction and offer a safe and inviting environment.  Unfortunately, many are becoming dark and overgrown, with boundary hedges and vegetation blocking natural light and narrowing the width available.  Most of this vegetation has its roots within the grounds of private gardens and is growing or encroaching onto the footpaths over the garden boundaries. The responsibility for this type of vegetation lies with the relevant householders rather than the Council and we are trying to work with local residents to encourage them to take responsibility for their village footpaths by cutting back their border hedges, trees and shrubs to maximise both the light and the width along our footpaths. 

We would welcome your support in encouraging friends and neighbours in your village to help keep our village paths clear of vegetation and please let your Rights of Way Officer (details below) know if you find any particular problems in your area.

Rights of Way Officer: Michelle Flynn


Central Bedfordshire Council, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5TQ. 

Direct Dial: 0300 300 6027, Mobile: 07966 471081