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Found a blocked lane? Here's what to do...


If you come across a blocked lane - whether it's a fallen tree, an overgrowth of vegetation or a deliberate act by persons known/unknown to impede your progress - then this is what you can do:


You can legally remove an obstruction by hand in order to get by but you must only move enough to do so and replace it when you have passed through, for example if a lane near a farm has a pole across then slide it out and put it back afterwards. If the lane is blocked by brambles then knock them aside to get through. You can only remove branches in order to proceed. The main rule is that you are not allowed to set out especially to clear the lane unless by prior permission and insurance from Devon County Council and the Parish.

In case of difficulty like a fallen tree that is too heavy to move, or a deliberate blockage, report the obstruction in writing (a letter can be sent attached to an email to save paper and postage!) to the Highway Authority (Devon County Council - click here for details). An extra benefit of doing this is that any written response will be confirmation that Devon County Council accept that it is a County responsibility and is further proof of our rights on that lane.


Further notes:


For lanes completely blocked by overgrowth

  1. If possible take pictures* of the entrance to the lane and of the obstruction.
  2. Write up a quick report and legend for your photos, detailing where the lane is using both Devon TRF references (from either the Google Earth or Memory Map overlays) and Ordnance Survey co-ordinates if known, what is blocking the route and stating that you would like to ride this route/lane.
  3. Forward the report and photographs* to Devon TRF's Rights of Way Contact (see "Contact Us", opposite).


For lanes deliberately blocked by persons known/unknown

  1. It is important that you do not get into an altercation with anybody at the scene. If you are riding a legal lane, you have the support of both Devon and the National TRF and we can bring the power of the Local Authority to bear on the matter. IT is important to reamin calm and polite, and just take the photographs* you need.
  2. Complete a brief report as set out above, mentioning any hostility from persons known/unknown, and forward it and your photographs* to our Rights of Way Contact.




Any form of photograph is acceptable, whether it is from a camera - preferably digital - or a mobile 'phone. If you are using a digital camera, unless it is about 10 years old the picture will be several megapixels in size and could be too big to send by e-mail, especially if you have a dial-up internet connection. If this is the case please follow the procedure below:

  • If you have software on your computer capable of resizing images, please reduce images to 640 pixels for the longest dimension.
  • If you do not have image resizing software then please download PIXresizer here. This will open a new window where you can dowload the 3.3Mb program
  • Click on the file and extract the contents to a known location on your computer (for example C:\My Downloads).
  • Go to that file location and click on the file and double-click "setup.exe".
  • When the program has installed, the "readme.txt" will open which you can print out. This will tell you how to work with multiple files or just one at a time.
  • If you are working with multiple files then please:
    • Select source
    • Select destination
    • Move the slider in the "Select New Size" to 680
    • Make sure JPEG is "dotted"
    • And finally click "Save Pictures"
    • When completed a winodw will pop up saying "All Done"
  • Your photos are now ready for inspection.


How to compress the pictures


  1. Find and open the folder where your re-sized pictures are.
  2. Select the photos you want to send by clicking on each photo whilst holding down the "Ctrl" key (bottom left or right on your keyboard)
  3. When you have the photographss you want to send selected, right-click on one of them and select "Send To....Compressed (zipped) Folder". This will compress* the photographs into one folder in the same file as the resized photos.
  4. Rename the folder by right clicking on it - the default name for the folder will be that of one of the photographss with ".zip" on the end
  5. Right-click on the newly zipped folder and "Send To...Mail Recipient". This will open your e-mail program and all you have to do is add the name of the recipient and your report.


Important Points

The above assumes you are using a PC with Windows XP or later.


*Compressing a .jpg/jpeg file

A .jpg file is already compressed (same as zipped). The reason for compressing the file with the photographs in is that they stay together when being e-mailed and may not be mistaken for a virus!


Size of compressed file

Please check that the size of the file you want to send is acceptable to your Internet Service Provider. Particularly large invdividual digital photographs, or several digital photographs sent at the same time, can become unwieldy very quickly. This may result in a long send/receive time or at worst, failure to send your pictures. Many members of Devon TRF make use of free online photograph hosting service such as Webshots or Photobucket, which are free to use.


Devon Trail Riders Fellowship
Trail riding is legal and legitimate - we do not condone illegal use of the countryside.
The countryside is for EVERYONE to enjoy.

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