Rights of way in England and Wales

In England and Wales, other than in the 12 Inner London Boroughs and the City of London, the "right of way" refers to paths on which the public have a legally protected right to pass and re-pass. The law in England and Wales differs from Scots law in that rights of way exist only where they are so designated (or are able to be designated if not already), whereas in Scotland any route that meets certain conditions is defined as a right of way, and in addition there is a general presumption of access to the countryside ("right to roam"). Private rights of way or easements also exist (see also Highways in England and Wales).

Footpath signs
Footpath sign

Inner London

Definitive maps of public rights of way have been compiled for all of England and Wales, as a result of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, except the 12 Inner London boroughs,[1] which, along with the City of London, were not covered by the Act. Definitive maps exist for the Outer London boroughs.

To protect the existing rights of way in London, the Ramblers launched their "Putting London on the Map" in 2010, with the aim of getting "the same legal protection for paths in the capital as already exists for footpaths elsewhere in England and Wales. Currently, legislation allows the Inner London boroughs to choose to produce definitive maps if they wish, but none do so".[2]

The launch event of "Putting London on the Map" took place at the British Library, and since then the 'Inner London Area' of the Ramblers has been working with Ramblers Central Office staff to try to persuade each of the Inner London boroughs of the desirability of producing definitive maps of rights of way".[3]

In 2011 Lambeth Council passed a resolution to work towards creating a definitive map for their borough, but this does not yet exist.[4] The City of London has produced a Public Access Map.[5]

Public footpaths

TL0452 stile
Kissing gate with yellow footpath markings
Hampshire County Council Footpath Waymarker
A Hampshire County Council footpath waymark.

In England and Wales a public footpath is a path on which the public have a legally protected right to travel on foot and in some areas public footpaths form a dense network of short paths. It is probable that most footpaths in the countryside are hundreds of years old. The majority of footpaths are shown on Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 maps.

Local highways authorities (usually county councils or unitary authorities) are required to maintain the definitive map of all public rights of way in their areas and these can be inspected at council offices. If a path is shown on the definitive map and no subsequent legal order (such as a stopping up order) exists then the right of way is conclusive in law. Just because a path is not shown on that map does not mean that it is not a public path, as the rights may not have been recorded. The Countryside Agency estimated that over 10% of public paths were not yet listed on the definitive map. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 provides that paths that are not recorded on the definitive map by 2026 and that were in use prior to 1949 will automatically be deemed stopped up on 1 January 2026.

The right of access on a public footpath normally only extends to walking (there may be other unrecorded rights as well), so there is usually no right to cycle or ride a horse on a public footpath. However, it is not a criminal offence to do so unless there is a traffic order or bylaw in place specifically: it is a civil wrong to ride a bicycle or a horse on a public footpath, and action could be taken by the landowner for trespass or nuisance by the user.[6]

The highway right to use a right of way is restricted to passing and re-passing, associated activities, and the taking of 'usual accompaniments'. Bedford Borough Council mentions that walkers may:

  • take a pram, pushchair or wheelchair, where possible
  • take a dog as long as on a lead or under close control
  • admire the view, stop for a rest, have a small picnic on the verge
  • take a short alternative route to get round an obstruction

Public bridleways

NY0612 bridleway
Bridleway fingerpost

A public bridleway is a way over which the general public have the following, but normally (unless otherwise according to Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 s56(1)(b)) no other rights:

  • to travel on foot and
  • to travel on horseback or leading a horse, with or without a right to drive animals of any description along the way.

Note that although Section 30 of the Countryside Act 1968 permits the riding of bicycles on public bridleways, the act says that it "shall not create any obligation to facilitate the use of the bridleway by cyclists". Thus, the right to cycle exists even though it may be difficult to exercise on occasion. Cyclists using a bridleway are obliged to give way to other users on foot or horseback.

Public bridleways are shown on Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 maps, but many public bridleways (as well as "roads used as public paths", "byways open to all traffic" and "restricted byways") were recorded as footpaths only as a result of the burden of maintenance required by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 and so are now wrongly recorded on the definitive map.[7] Definitive Map Modification Orders are needed to correct these errors.

Byways open to all traffic

A byway open to all traffic (or BOAT) is a highway over which the general public have a right to travel for vehicular and all other kinds of traffic, but which is used by the public mainly as footpaths and bridleways are used, per Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, section 15(9)(c), as amended by Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991, Schedule 1.

After the 2006 Regulations to the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, BOATs should now more properly be referred to simply as byways.

Roads used as public paths

A road used as public path (RUPP) was one of the three types of public right of way (along with footpaths and bridleways) introduced by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. The Countryside Act 1968 required all highway authorities to reclassify RUPPs in their area – occasionally as public footpaths but in practice generally as public bridleways unless public vehicular rights were demonstrated to exist in which case it would become a 'byway open to all traffic'.[8]

This process was slow as it involved research into historic usage and often public enquiries, and so was not completed by the time the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 was passed. This reclassified all remaining RUPPs as 'restricted byways' on 2 May 2006.

Restricted byways

On 2 May 2006 the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 reclassified all remaining roads used as public paths as restricted byways. The public's rights along a restricted byway are to travel:

  • on foot
  • on horseback or leading a horse
  • by any vehicle (e.g. bicycles, horse-drawn carriages) other than mechanically propelled vehicles (e.g. motorbikes or cars) unless vehicular rights pre-existed, then the act did not extinguish those rights

Permissive path

River Wensum Footpath
Permissive path along River Wensum, Norfolk, England

A permissive path, permitted path or concessionary path is a path (which could be for walkers, riders, cyclists, or any combination) whose use is allowed by the landowner. It would normally be a path that is not at the time on the definitive map of public rights of way but that does not prevent it from already being a public path for any or all of those user categories mentioned. For instance it might be a historic route fallen into disuse or it might have been used for twenty years 'as of right' by the public, in both cases being a public right of way which is not yet shown on the definitive map. Some permissive footpaths and bridleways are shown on 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 scale Ordnance Survey maps.

A permissive path is often closed on a specified calendar day each year (lawful only if it is not already a public right of way of some description), and clearly signed (e.g. signpost or waymark) as permissive. The act of so closing or signing it ensures that any future use of it does not count towards the 20 years' use 'as of right' needed to establish its public status. These are precautions to prevent it becoming designated as a statutory right of way in relation to its permitted use.[9]

Right to roam

Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 the public also has a right to walk away from rights of way on designated "access land". This right is in addition to rights of way, and does not extend to horse-riders or cyclists. Access land may be closed for up to 28 days per year, whereas rights of way must remain open at all times, except in exceptional circumstances with special permission of the local authority.

Creation of new public rights of way

A footpath, bridleway or restricted byway can be created by one of the following means.

Dedication

In England and Wales, a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway may be expressly dedicated by the owner as a public right of way. Furthermore, unchallenged use by the public, as of right, for at least 20 years, may give rise to a presumption of dedication under Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980. A presumption of dedication may arise under common law after any appropriate period of time, by way of a presumed deed that has been lost; known as the doctrine of "modern lost grant". Paths created by express dedication since 1949 are not automatically maintainable at the public expense as a result of s.49 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.[10]

Public path creation agreement

Section 25 of the Highways Act 1980 allows a local authority (that is, a district or county council, or a unitary authority) to enter into an agreement (known as a 'public path creation agreement') with a relevant landowner to create a footpath or bridleway over land in their area. The local authority has to consult any other local authority in whose area the path will be, but does not have to consult wider. There is no provision for anyone else to be consulted or to object. The agreement must be advertised in the local paper, and the route is automatically maintainable at public expense.

Agreement between a parish council and landowner

Section 30 of the Highways Act 1980 allows a parish council (community council in Wales) to enter into an agreement with a relevant landowner to create a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway over land in their area or in an adjacent parish. The parish council is under no obligation to consult anyone. All they have to do is reach an agreement with the landowner. There is no provision for anyone else to be consulted or to object. The path is not automatically maintainable at the public expense.

Public path creation order

Section 26 of the Highways Act 1980 allows a local authority (that is, a district or county council, or a unitary authority) to make an order to create a footpath or bridleway over land in their area. If there are no objections, the local authority can confirm the order themselves, so bringing the path into effect. However, where objections have been made, the order will need to be considered by an inspector from the Planning Inspectorate. Depending on the number and nature of the objections, he may consider the order after an exchange of written representations between the authority and the objectors, after holding a hearing, or after a public local inquiry. People who would like to use the path should submit letters saying why they need the path.

Street works authority

Section 228 of the Highways Act 1980 is mainly used by the street works authority (county council or unitary authority) to declare a street to be a highway maintainable at public expense. The street works authority has to perform works on the route. Such street works need only be appropriate to the type of highway to which the notice relates. So for a potential bridleway, if the grass is cut, or a hedge cut back, this could constitute street works for the purpose of this section, so enabling it to be used. The authority then places s.228 "Adoption of Streets" notices at each end of the route. Only the owner of a street (or if more than one, the majority of the owners) has the power to object. If there is an objection, the street works authority can either discontinue, or it can go to a magistrates' court. A path created by this method will be maintainable at the public expense. Hampshire County Council has used this method for footpaths,[11] and Essex County Council often uses it for new bridleways.

Rights of way improvement plans

Each highway authority in England and Wales (other than Transport for London, the City of London and Inner London boroughs) was required to produce a Rights of Way Improvement Plan under sections 60 to 62 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 within five years of the date on which Section 60 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act came into force; this deadline was 21 November 2007. Each highway authority is required to review their Rights of Way Improvement Plan at least every ten years.

Gallery

Bridleway in Ettington, Warwickshire

Cyclists on a bridleway

Byway road sign

Byway sign

RUPP sign 1

RUPP sign

JohnBunyanTrailFootpath

Footpath in England

Ridgeway National Trail signpost

Special signage on The Ridgeway which is a National Trail

See also

References

  1. ^ "Rights of Way Definitive Maps". Naturenet.net. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Inner London Ramblers.
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ "What is a Public Right of Way". Bedford.gov.uk. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  7. ^ Taylor, Susan; Hogg, Sue (1997). What is a cross road?. South Pennine Packhorse Trails Trust. Page 41, 42. ISBN 978-0953057306
  8. ^ "Countryside Act 1968". Legislation.gov.uk. 6 October 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Basics of Rights of Way". Ramblers Association. Rambler Association. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  10. ^ Riddall, J & Trevelyan, J, Rights of Way; A guide to Law and Practice, 4th edition, ISBN 978-1-901184-99-0, page 275
  11. ^ [4]

Bibliography

External links

Adverse possession

Adverse possession, sometimes colloquially described as ‘squatter's rights’, is a legal principle under which a person who does not have legal title to a piece of property—usually land (real property)—acquires legal ownership based on continuous possession or occupation of the land without the permission of its legal owner.In general, a property owner has the right to recover possession of their property from unauthorised possessors through legal action such as ejectment. However, in the English common law tradition, courts have long ruled that when someone occupies a piece of property without permission and the property's owner does not exercise their right to recover their property for a significant period of time, not only is the original owner prevented from exercising their right to exclude, but an entirely new title to the property "springs up" in the adverse possessor. In effect, the adverse possessor becomes the property's new owner. Over time, legislatures have created statutes of limitations that specify the length of time that owners have to recover possession of their property from adverse possessors. In the United States, for example, these time limits vary widely between individual states, ranging from as low as five years to as many as 40 years.Although the elements of an adverse possession action are different in every jurisdiction, a person claiming adverse possession is usually required to prove non-permissive use of the property that is actual, open and notorious, exclusive, adverse and continuous for the statutory period.Personal property, traditionally known as ‘chattel’, may also be adversely possessed, but owing to the differences in the nature of real and chattel property, the rules governing such claims are rather more stringent, and favour the legal owner rather than the adverse possessor. Claims for adverse possession of chattel often involve works of art.

Benedict Southworth

Benedict Southworth (born August 1965) is a social justice organiser / campaigner and strategist. He is known for his work as a campaign strategist for Greenpeace, Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth and reshaping not for profit operations. He is the former Chief Executive of the Ramblers and the World Development Movement (renamed Global Justice Now). Southworth was a founding board member of 38 Degrees and currently sits on the Board of its sister organisation 38 Degrees Trust.

The Ramblers is Britain’s largest walking organisation. Under Southworth’s leadership Ramblers took over the Walking for Health scheme from the Government, forming a partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support. They successfully defended the English coastal path and ran the Big Pathwatch the largest ever survey of rights of way in England and Wales.Southworth became Chief Executive of the World Development Movement at the height of Make Poverty History. He was on the coordination team of Make Poverty History and was chair of the Trade Justice Movement. He played a critical role in explaining the decision to wind down the campaign to local activists.

Southworth was the Director of Greenpeace International’s climate campaign launching the Stop Esso campaign and Amnesty International’s global campaign program launching the Stop Violence Against Women campaign.

Byway

A byway is a less-traveled side road, as in:

Byway (road), a minor secondary or tertiary road in the UK

National Scenic Byway, a road recognized by the United States Department of Transportation for its historical qualities

Byway (road)

A byway in the United Kingdom is a track, often rural, which is too minor to be called a road. These routes are often unsurfaced, typically having the appearance of 'green lanes'. Despite this, it is legal (but may not be physically possible) to drive any type of vehicle along certain byways, the same as any ordinary tarmac road.

In 2000 the legal term 'restricted byway' was introduced to cover rights of way along which it is legal to travel by any mode (including on foot, bicycle, horse-drawn carriage etc.) but excluding 'mechanically propelled vehicles'.

Common land

Common land is land owned collectively by a number of persons, or by one person, but over which other people have certain traditional rights, such as to allow their livestock to graze upon it, to collect wood, or to cut turf for fuel.A person who has a right in, or over, common land jointly with another or others is called a commoner.This article deals mainly with common land in Great Britain. Although the extent there is much reduced due to enclosure of common land from the millions of acres that existed until the 17th century, a considerable amount of common land still exists, particularly in upland areas, and there are over 7,000 registered commons in England alone.Common land or former common land is usually referred to as a common; for instance, Clapham Common or Mungrisdale Common.

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (c 37), known as the CRoW Act is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament affecting England and Wales which came into force on 30 November 2000.

Definitive map

A definitive map is a record of public rights of way in England and Wales. In law it is the definitive record of where a right of way is located. The highway authority (normally the county council, or unitary authority in areas with a one-tier system) has a statutory duty to maintain a definitive map, though in national parks the National Park Authority usually maintains the map. The Inner London boroughs are exempt from the statutory duty though they have the powers to maintain a map: currently none does so.

Each right of way also has a written description referred to as the definitive statement. Generally the definitive map takes legal precedence over the definitive statement.

Footpath

A footpath (also pedestrian way, walking trail, nature trail) is a type of thoroughfare that is intended for use only by pedestrians and not other forms of traffic such as motorized vehicles, cycles, and horses. They can be found in a wide variety of places, from the centre of cities, to farmland, to mountain ridges. Urban footpaths are usually paved, may have steps, and can be called alleys, lanes, steps, etc.

National parks, nature preserves, conservation areas and other protected wilderness areas may have footpaths (trails) that are restricted to pedestrians. The term footpath can also describe a pavement/sidewalk in some English-speaking countries (such as Australia and the Republic of Ireland).

A footpath can also take the form of a footbridge, linking two places across a river.

Footpath (disambiguation)

A footpath is a thoroughfare that is intended for pedestrian use.

Footpath may also refer to:

Footpath (1953 film), a Hindi film written and directed by Zia Sarhadi

Footpath (2003 film), a Hindi film directed by Vikram Bhatt

Institute of Public Rights of Way and Access Management

The Institute of Public Rights of Way and Access Management (IPROW) is an independent society representing individuals involved in the management of public rights of way and other access in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Its members are principally local government officers, some are employees in a private company performing the contracted-out rights of way function, and a minority are self-employed specialists, lawyers or performing associated work in private, public or third sectors.

Rights of way in England and Wales are the minor highways — public footpaths, bridleways and byways — which are recorded by surveying authorities (usually county councils or unitary authorities) on Definitive Maps and Statements of public rights of way, as prescribed in the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.

Depending on the size of the highway authority, rights of way officers may be involved in any or all of the duties to maintain the legal record, assert the public right and maintain the ways so they are usable. Large authorities may have several officers, each specialising in one duty or another, smaller authorities may have officers each dealing with all duties in an area, which in a small authority may be the whole of its area.

Outline of England

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to England:

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Its 55,268,100 inhabitants account for more than 84% of the total UK population, while its mainland territory occupies most of the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain. England is bordered by Scotland to the north, Wales to the west and the North Sea, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Bristol Channel and English Channel. The capital is London, the largest metropolitan area in Great Britain, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by many measures.

Right-of-way (transportation)

A right-of-way (ROW) is a right to make a way over a piece of land, usually to and from another piece of land. A right of way is a type of easement granted or reserved over the land for transportation purposes, such as a highway, public footpath, rail transport, canal, as well as electrical transmission lines, oil and gas pipelines. A right-of-way can be used to build a bike trail. A right-of-way is reserved for the purposes of maintenance or expansion of existing services with the right-of-way. In the case of an easement, it may revert to its original owners if the facility is abandoned.

Right of way

Right of way is "the legal right, established by usage or grant, to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another", or "a path or thoroughfare subject to such a right". This article is mainly about access by foot, by bicycle, horseback, or along a waterway, and Right-of-way (transportation) focusses on highways, railways, pipelines, etc. A footpath is a right of way that can only be used by pedestrians.

A similar right of access also exists on some public land in the United States. In Canada, Australia and New Zealand, such land may alternatively be called Crown land.

In some countries, especially in Northern Europe, where the freedom to roam has historically taken the form of general public rights, a right of way may not be restricted to specific paths or trails.

When one person owns a piece of land which is bordered on all sides by lands owned by others, a court will be obliged to grant that person a right of way through the bordering land.

Right of way (disambiguation)

Right of way is in predominantly British usage, which allows the use of a footpath or other route on privately owned land.

[Right of way may also refer to:

Right-of-way (transportation) in chiefly American usage, an easement or grant to use the land, in order to construct transportation facilities

Right-of-way (traffic), allowing priority use of a traffic path, to the exclusion of another user

Right of way (shipping), set of sailing rules on water paths regarding priority and signaling

Right of way, priority of attacking in fencing

Rupp

Rupp or RUPP can refer to:

Rational Unified Process Product

Royal University of Phnom Penh

Roads used as public paths,Rights of way in England and Wales

Rights of way in ScotlandWarren Rupp Observatory

Rupp Industries, a Mansfield, Ohio producer of go-karts, mini-bikes, and snowmobiles from the late 1950s until 1978; founded by car racer Mickey RuppPeople called Rupp or Ruppe:

Adolph Rupp (1901–1977), an American basketball coach

Adolph Rupp Trophy, an American basketball trophy

Rupp Arena, an American basketball arena

Bernd Rupp (b. 1942), a German football player

Debra Jo Rupp (b. 1951), an American television actress

Duane Rupp (b. 1938), a Canadian ice hockey player

Ernest Gordon Rupp (1910–1986), a British preacher and historian

Galen Rupp (b. 1986), an American athlete

George Erik Rupp (b. 1942), an American educator and theologian

Hans Georg Rupp (1907-1989), German judge

Heinrich Bernhard Rupp (1688-1719), a German botanist

Herman Rupp (1872–1956), an Australian clergyman and botanist

Jean Rupp (1905–1983), French bishop and Vatican diplomat

Kerry Rupp, an American basketball coach

Leila J. Rupp (b. 1950), an American historian and feminist

Loret Miller Ruppe (1936–1996), an American administrator and diplomat

Michael Rupp (b. 1980), an American ice hockey player

Mickey Rupp (b. 1936), an American racecar driver

Pat Rupp (1942–2006), an American ice hockey player

Philip Ruppe (b. 1926), an American politician

Rainer Rupp (b. 1945), East German spy

Scott T. Rupp, an American politician

Sieghardt Rupp (1931–2015), an Austrian actor

Terry Rupp (born 1966), an American college baseball coach

The Ridgeway

The Ridgeway is a ridgeway or ancient trackway described as Britain's oldest road. The section clearly identified as an ancient trackway extends from Wiltshire along the chalk ridge of the Berkshire Downs to the River Thames at the Goring Gap, part of the Icknield Way which ran, not always on the ridge, from Salisbury Plain to East Anglia. The route was adapted and extended as a National Trail, created in 1972. The Ridgeway National Trail follows the ancient Ridgeway from Overton Hill, near Avebury, to Streatley, then follows footpaths and parts of the ancient Icknield Way through the Chiltern Hills to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. The National Trail is 87 miles (140 km) long.

Trail blazing

Trail blazing or way marking is the practice of marking paths in outdoor recreational areas with signs or markings that follow each other at certain, though not necessarily exactly defined, distances and mark the direction of the trail.

A blaze in the beginning meant "a mark made on a tree by slashing the bark" (The Canadian Oxford Dictionary). Originally a waymark was "any conspicuous object which serves as a guide to travellers; a landmark" (Oxford English Dictionary).

There are several ways of marking trails: paint, carvings, affixed markers, posts, flagging, cairns, and crosses, with paint being the most widely used.

Trespass

Trespass is an area of criminal law or tort law broadly divided into three groups: trespass to the person, trespass to chattels and trespass to land.

Trespass to the person historically involved six separate trespasses: threats, assault, battery, wounding, mayhem (or maiming), and false imprisonment. Through the evolution of the common law in various jurisdictions, and the codification of common law torts, most jurisdictions now broadly recognize three trespasses to the person: assault, which is "any act of such a nature as to excite an apprehension of battery"; battery, "any intentional and unpermitted contact with the plaintiff's person or anything attached to it and practically identified with it"; and false imprisonment, the "unlaw[ful] obstruct[ion] or depriv[ation] of freedom from restraint of movement".

One can Retrieve wounded or expired game from neighboring properties and boundaries even if the neighboring land owner does not give permission as long as there are no weapons in possession while retrieving game caus[ing] injury". Trespass to chattel does not require a showing of damages. Simply the "intermeddling with or use of … the personal property" of another gives cause of action for trespass. Since CompuServe Inc. v. Cyber Promotions, Inc., various courts have applied the principles of trespass to chattel to resolve cases involving unsolicited bulk e-mail and unauthorized server usage.Trespass to land is today the tort most commonly associated with the term trespass; it takes the form of "wrongful interference with one's possessory rights in [real] property". Generally, it is not necessary to prove harm to a possessor's legally protected interest; liability for unintentional trespass varies by jurisdiction. "[A]t common law, every unauthorized entry upon the soil of another was a trespasser"; however, under the tort scheme established by the Restatement of Torts, liability for unintentional intrusions arises only under circumstances evincing negligence or where the intrusion involved a highly dangerous activity.Trespass has also been treated as a common law offense in some countries.

Usufruct

Usufruct () is a limited real right (or in rem right) found in civil-law and mixed jurisdictions that unites the two property interests of usus and fructus:

Usus (use) is the right to use or enjoy a thing possessed, directly and without altering it.

Fructus (fruit, in a figurative sense) is the right to derive profit from a thing possessed: for instance, by selling crops, leasing immovables or annexed movables, taxing for entry, and so on.A usufruct is either granted in severalty or held in common ownership, as long as the property is not damaged or destroyed. The third civilian property interest is abusus (literally abuse), the right to alienate the thing possessed, either by consuming or destroying it (e.g. for profit), or by transferring it to someone else (e.g. sale, exchange, gift). Someone enjoying all three rights has full ownership.

Generally, a usufruct is a system in which a person or group of persons uses the real property (often land) of another. The "usufructuary" does not own the property, but does have an interest in it, which is sanctioned or contractually allowed by the owner. Two different systems of usufruct exist: perfect and imperfect. In a perfect usufruct, the usufructuary is entitled the use of the property but cannot substantially change it. For example, an owner of a small business may become ill and grant the right of usufruct to an individual to run their business. The usufructuary thus has the right to operate the business and gain income from it, but does not have the right to, for example, tear down the business and replace it, or to sell it. The imperfect usufruct system gives the usufructuary some ability to modify the property. For example, if a land owner grants a piece of land to a usufructuary for agricultural use, the usufructuary may have the right to not only grow crops on the land but also make improvements that would help in farming, say by building a barn. However this can be disadvantageous to the usufructuary: if a usufructuary makes material improvements - such as a building, or fixtures attached to the building, or other fixed structures - to their usufruct, they do not own the improvements, and any money spent on those improvements would belong to the original owner at the end of the usufruct.In many usufructuary property systems, such as the traditional ejido system in Mexico, individuals or groups may only acquire the usufruct of the property, not legal title. A usufruct is directly equatable to a common-law life estate except that a usufruct can be granted for a term shorter than the holder's lifetime (cestui que vie).

Public rights of way in the United Kingdom
England and Wales
Scotland
Miscellaneous

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