The Use and Management of the South West Coast Path and Public Rights of Way Network during the Covid-19 Outbreak

Although the current restrictions on non-essential travel has seen a reduction in road traffic, there has been an increased use of, and interest in, the South West Coast Path (SWCP) and the inland Public Rights of Way (PRoW) network for access and for daily exercise.

In order to promote social distancing, at this time, Cormac are currently not undertaking any routine inspections or maintenance works to the SWCP or PRoW and are only responding to immediate health and safety concerns and making the paths safe or closing them as necessary.  This position is being reviewed on a regular basis.

If you are aware of any safety issues on these networks, you should report them by phone to 0300 1234 202.   

LMP and Coast Path Cutting

Although the first cuts on the Coast Path and the inland network are not required until May or May / June respectively, we appreciate that in the current circumstances there may be issues in planning and undertaking these operations.

Due to the uncertainty, and possible changes in government advice, it is impossible to provide lasting advice as how best to proceed, but we would ask that the health and safety of the public and contractors is paramount. 

Therefore, at the present time, Cornwall Council will not require the paths to be cut at the times set out in the agreement, but there is a real hope that over the next 12 months all necessary works will be undertaken at some point to keep the network safe and open.  Some alternatives may be as follows:

  • Contractors may risk assess the works and locations and be able to undertake some, or all of the works safely whilst observing social distancing.
  • Undertake one or more cuts later in the year if the situation changes; e.g. the August cut. 
  • Carry out some winter cutting to paths where vegetation has encroached, and the path width has been reduced as a result.  

Where Cormac are responsible for cutting the South West Coast Path, then this will be prioritised once restrictions are lifted.  Depending upon the timescale, the Countryside Officers may be in touch to see if those sections usually cut by parishes may also need attention.  

If you require any further information, then please visit, or alternatively contact the Countryside team via

Yours Sincerely, Natural Environment Service