Dorset Countryside Service
Dorset Countryside is the Countryside Service of Dorset County Council. The service works in partnership with other organisations to manage sites and the public rights of way network in Dorset.
What we do
Dorset Countryside helps to secure the sustainable use and management of our special countryside and provides facilities to promote its greater understanding, appreciation and enjoyment. Our Access and Rangers team work in partnership with other organisations in the county to manage Dorset's beautiful landscape.
On top of this core role, the service supports the local community in practical projects, educational work and raises awareness of environmental issues in the county.
Who we are
Dorset Countryside consists of a Ranger and Rights of Way team.
Rights of Way Team
Rights of way officers are responsible for the statutory maintenance and management of Dorset's public path network under the Highways Act 1980 and for the continuous review of the Definitive Map under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. There are four area rights of way officers who are responsible for a specific area of the county; they are supported by the field teams who are responsible for the practical work on the ground.
Our officers roles include the following:
Working to keep Dorset's 3000 miles of public paths well signed, open and easy to use.
Dealing with legal issues concerning these important routes and ensure that those who use them or manage land, have good formation about their rights and responsibilities
The day-to-day maintenance of the network
The rangers work to keep rural Dorset special and enjoyable. Their work includes the following:
We have teams based in North Dorset and Portland who work closely with the district and borough councils on sites and projects in the area.
Working alongside the rangers and Rights of Way team, we have various staff that support their work including an interpretation & information officer. Their responsibilities include publications, displays and panels.
Dorset Countryside works in partnership with various different organisations on projects throughout the county. These include:
Countryside Access Management
Under the Highways Act 1980, the Countryside Access Team is responsible for maintaining Dorset's network by keeping rights of way free from obstructions such as barbed wire, excessive undergrowth, ploughing and cropping, ensuring that gates, stiles and footbridges are kept in good condition, way marking and signposting.
Find out more
We hope you have found this website informative and interesting, but above all, we hope that it has inspired you to explore Dorset and the wonderful places it has to offer.
Dorset Countryside runs a range of events to help you explore and enjoy our county's beautiful coast and countryside.