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- Here in the UK we have footpaths criss-crossing the whole country, a system which in parts can date back hundreds of years. They are the remains of what was, at that time, the only way people moved about, before there were roads.
Originally they crossed common land, because all the land was common land, then the Norman invaders divided up the land and the footpaths crossed the land belonging to the Lord Of The Manor.
One of the rights of Magna Carter concerned the rights of the common man and laws developed from that which resulted in the footpaths becoming "Rights of Way", so they still exist.
The farmers dont like them for obvious reasons and many of them are overgrown and in danger of disappearing forever. Local Government has Righs-of-Way Officers to oversee the system and maintain waymarks and stiles etc., and characters like me continuously exercise our rights and walk them to keep them in use.
In the County where I live, Herefordshire, there are approximately 4,400 registered Public Rights of Way, ranging in length from a few metres to several kilometres. In total there are over 3,400 km [2,113 miles] of rights of way, about the same distance as all the Public Road Network in the County.
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