Walking with dogs
There are things to consider when walking in the countryside to ensure you, and your dog, other rural users and landowners can all enjoy the countryside. Always check local signs as there are situations when you must keep your dog on a lead for all or part of the year. Local areas may also ban dogs completely, except for assistance dogs. Signs will tell you about these local restrictions.
Please ensure you keep your dog under effective control to make sure it stays away from wildlife, livestock, horses and other people unless invited.
On Open Access land and at the coast, you must put your dog on a lead around livestock. Between 1 March and 31 July, you must have your dog on a lead on Open Access land, even if there is no livestock on the land. These are legal requirements.
Dog walkers should take extra care when walking dogs around livestock (especially young farm animals) and horses, where there are ground nesting birds, near reservoirs and streams used for public water or by the coast. There may also be local restrictions banning dogs from areas that people use. Stay vigilant, especially when entering a field - you may not be able to see the whole field.
Cows are inquisitive animals. If cattle follow you try to stay calm and walk quickly and quietly round the herd. Don't get between cows and their calves. Walk round the herd and re-join the path when safe.
If you have a dog, keep it on a short lead around cows and sheep, but release if threatened by cattle so you can both get to safety separately.
If you feel threatened by animals protecting their territory or young, don't panic or run. Move to the edge of the field and, if possible, find another way round.
If the farmer has offered an alternative route because livestock are grazing, please use it to help the farmer keep you safe.
A farmer can shoot a dog that is attacking or chasing livestock. They may not be liable to compensate the dog’s owner.
Remember to clean up after your dog, even on farmland, as dog faeces can carry diseases that can affect humans, farm animals and wildlife. It is also worth remembering that some people are wary of dogs and may find even your friendly dog intimidating!
The information below is intended to give general guidance only about public rights of way - it is not intended as a definitive guide to the law. Always observe any signs when you are out walking.
Public Footpaths - are for walkers only.
Public Bridleways - can be used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders BUT NOT motor vehicles, including motor bikes.
Restricted Byways - can be used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders BUT NOT motor vehicles, including motor bikes.
Permissive Paths - are paths which an owner has given the public permission to use, but it can be withdrawn at any time. Usually they are for walkers only.
Cycle Tracks - are usually specially created paths, over which there is a right of way on pedal cycle and possibly also foot.
For more information see Ramblers website - www.ramblers.org.uk
Reporting problems on paths If you encounter any problems when using public rights of way, please contact Ecclesfield Parish Council or Sheffield City Council Rights of Way Unit.