A rights of way specialist has won a two and a half year fight over a cattle grid that obstructs a bridleway at Capheaton, Northumberland.
Alan Kind, of Gosforth, Newcastle, alerted Northumberland County Council to the grid that extended across the entire width of the path in October 2009.
Although the farmer had created an unofficial gate to the side of the gate Mr Kind argued the public had no legally enforceable rights over the land that it encouraged them to use.
But the council failed to act.
Now, after two unsuccessful appeals to magistrates and crown court, two judges in London’s High Court ruled on 14 March that the bridleway must be widened.
And Northumberland County Council is now in talks with the landowner.
The decision has been welcomed by the British Horse Society (BHS), who supported Mr Kind in his fight.
Mark Weston, BHS director of access, said: “The society was glad to support Mr Kind with this test case which goes a long way towards establishing firm and clear guidance on obstructions to rights of way and the duty on highway authorities to take simple, firm and prompt action to put things right.”