Many people are unaware that stiles on public footpaths are illegal obstructions unless they are recorded on the Definitive Map and statement or have been properly authorised by the local highway authority. A highway authority is required to keep records of all such authorisations and ought to make such records publicly available. The stiles themselves are maintainable by the landowner who is legally obliged to keep them in good order. Highway authorities have powers to carry out enforcement works should they fail to do so and recover costs incurred. Highway authorities also have a duty to consider the needs of people with mobility problems when authorising structures such as stiles on public footpaths.
So much for the law and government advice. In reality none of this is done and that was plain to see on a recent walk of less than 3 miles when I crossed 17 stiles and collected a baker’s dozen of dodgy ones.
See for yourself.