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If an animal causes injury to anyone using a public right of way, then the owner of that animal is held responsible and may be prosecuted. Anyone who owns an animal which they know to have dangerous tendencies should not keep that animal in a field with a public footpath, bridleway, restricted byway or byway.


Generally, you must not keep a bull in any field crossed by a public right of way. The exceptions to this are where:

  • the bull is not more than 10 months old
  • the bull is not a recognised dairy breed and is with cows or heifers.

Recognised dairy breeds include: Ayrshire, British Friesian, British Holstein, Dairy Shorthorn, Guernsey, Jersey and Kerry.


Landowner’s dogs

If the dog poses no threat to members of the public, then the owner can keep the dog on his own land, or on land where he has the landowner’s permission.

However, where a dog effectively prevents the use of a right of way, for example by standing in the middle of a path facing on-comers with snarls and bared teeth, or where it merely frightens users, this constitutes a public nuisance. Such conduct may also constitute an obstruction of the highway which is an offence in criminal law.

You can report this to, but it is the police who are responsible for enforcing the removal of the dog.

Walking with your dog

Follow these simple steps to make sure you and your pet have a safe and enjoyable visit.

Warwickshire’s public paths

The 1,700 miles of paths cross private land, much of which is used to grow the food we eat. You can bring your dog if:

  • dogs are on a lead or under close control
  • your dog is with you on the path, not straying off to one side, or in front
  • where livestock are present, they remain on a short lead
  • you exercise caution where cows have calves - let go of the lead if approached, your dog will take care of himself
  • you always clean up after your dog in the interest of good hygiene
  • you regularly worm your dog - dogs can carry parasites which are harmful to farm animals.

Dogs at other countryside locations

Country parks

Dogs are welcome in our country parks. Waste bins are available at all parks apart from the Kenilworth Greenway. Dogs are allowed on a lead only at Ufton Fields

Nature reserves

Dogs are not usually permitted. When you use a public path crossing a reserve we strongly recommend a short lead. For more information visit  Warwickshire Wildlife Trust reserves.


For information on Draycote Water please visit Draycote Water.


Please clean up after your dog and keep it under control. For more information, visit the following website Canal and River Trust.

Commons and open access land (‘right to roam’ areas)

The law states that dogs must be on a short lead. Other restrictions may be in force. See the following website for more information Natural England.

Permissive access, countryside stewardship areas and other managed sites

We recommend that pet owners check with the site managers and observe any local bylaws and advisory notices.


You may keep horses loose in a field crossed by public rights of way as long as they are not known to be dangerous.

You cannot ride a horse on a public footpath unless the landowner has given permission. A landowner may ask a horse rider to leave any land over which they do not have the right to ride, and may ask you to pay for any damages that you cause. If a horse being ridden on a public bridleway or byway injures another person, the owner of the horse may be held responsible for the injuries, and the horse rider may be held responsible if they are shown to be negligent in controlling the horse. For more information, see the following link.

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