Public right of way operational priorities

We prioritise required work on our public right of way (PROW) network according to our operational priorities list. Our priorities list does not include work map or legal definitions, village greens, or common land.

There are 2 factors in prioritisation:

  • network priority status
  • inspection priority level.

Network priority status

We separate the paths we manage into two categories, A and B, to reflect their importance to the network

If 2 paths have the same inspection priorities, a category A path will be prioritised over a category B path.

Paths under category A include:

  • North Downs Way National Trail
  • routes to local facilities such as bus stops, churches, schools, parks, tourist attractions
  • paths used for daily leisure walking
  • multi-use paths with a clear public benefit  such as allowing horse riding or cycling in addition to walking
  • paths with potential for improvement
  • paths promoted by Explore Kent.

Category B paths include:

Inspection priority level

The order in which we prioritise PROW works, such as maintenance and repair.
Priority levelProblem description

Public safety issues with a high potential to result in accident and injury, loss of life or damage to property.

For example:

  • open excavations
  • dangerous trees
  • defective and dangerous structures.

We will inspect level 1 issues within 1 day of report.


Any matters with legal deadlines or emergency network protection.

For example, construction work that would lead to the irredeemable loss of a path and be expensive to rectify at a later date.

We will inspect level 2 issues within 5 days of report.


Proactive asset management including programmes of work to install, repair and replace defective path surfaces and path furniture such as stiles gates fingerposts and bridges.

Read our Rights of Way Improvement Plan.

Work programmes are to reflect network and local community priorities.


Time constrained offences and new obstructions to the network. For example non-reinstatement following cultivation and through crops other than grass, fence obstructions, fly tipping and other nuisances.

Campaigns and programmes are to be established on the basis of intelligence and local community priorities.

5Natural obstructions, such as vegetation growth.
6Waymarking on promoted paths, including National Trail, Coastal Access and Explore Kent products.
7Waymarking on non-promoted paths by Countryside Access Wardens.
8Long term obstructions.
9Access land including coastal access that is not recorded as a PROW