Pack animals in the UK - access rules?

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"Welsh mountain ponies were traditionally used to transport goods to market, plough fields and work as pit ponies in the mines, not for riding. Their once widespread use is the reason thousands of miles of bridleways were cleaved across the countryside, creating a network of rights of way that exist to this day."

Is that true? Is there a map of the old ways?

A search for "Drove Roads" may find you some.

As SarahR said "Must be, somewhere. You can see current bridleways on the OS maps though and they are very common, although not necessarily linking up in any meaningful way.".

I believe that some of the old Drove Roads still exist, not necessarily as bridleways but as paths and tracks, on the Open Country areas, etc. that we still have access to under the CRoW Act. Of course, some of the Drove Roads will have been surfaced as regular roads.

I'm also aware that many County Councils provide on-line access to (a version of) their definitive maps. You could use these maps to help identify routes before shelling out for the necessary paper map(s). Also browsing the open access areas using the satellite view in Google maps will help you spot tracks and paths that are not on regular maps. If you have Google Earth installed you can do this in 3D.
 
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SaraR

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Mar 25, 2017
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Ceredigion
I think a dog can only carry what he needs himself. Some water and dry food, a blanket perhaps. In a German forum somebody shortened an MOD bivvy bag for his dog and it worked fine.
I looked it up when my dogs (both small and similar size) were younger and, properly conditioned, one of them should be able to comfortably carry a week's worth of fresh food for both of them.
 
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Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
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Berlin
"Don't forget the Elephants please.
I think if you knit them a good jumper, warm cap, socks and so on, they will be glad to go for hiking with you in the Scottish highlands without any doubt."


Hannibal Barkas

;)
 

sunndog

Full Member
May 23, 2014
3,567
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derbyshire
From what I read today, they do stop to nibble at thinks and then catch up with you. A bit like dogs by the sound of it! Obviously a fair amount of training goes in to taking any animal out like that.

Untethered goats wandering about the place? My dog would claim it as his own and round it up with the rest of the sheep lol
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,482
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McBride, BC
Less that 3% of the province of British Columbia is flat enough for agriculture. Fine and dandy.
The rest of this place is crown land. You can wander about and camp with your heart's content, as you please.
Really, it's 14 days wild camp then move on. Sept.01 to Nov.15 is the biggest collection of various hunting seasons.
Most all of the good vehicle-access spots are occupied. Invisibly tidy camp sites. Invisible.

There are llama pack trains for hire. Never done it but you can.
Gawd but llama taste awful. Never eat llama. Just don't.

But if you have the hots to go for sheep and goats up top or really get into the back of beyond, you hire an outfitter.
They have licensed territories and come with full camps and pack trains of horses.
Legally, I can't "take you out." Yet, you are free to wander about the place and nobody will bother you at all.

I can't believe that the UK is any different = the reputation of the packer/outfitter and the animals will go a long way for bookings.
 

SaraR

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Mar 25, 2017
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Ceredigion
Untethered goats wandering about the place? My dog would claim it as his own and round it up with the rest of the sheep lol
That's the thing with sheepdogs isn't it. :) I think the goats stuck to the path and fairly close behind. Many/most ppl seemed to have them on a string though.

But that's the thing, here you'd most likely be on grazed land, probably with other grazers present. And goats are counted as livestock so I'm sure their are rules around their movements.
 

SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
860
557
Ceredigion
Less that 3% of the province of British Columbia is flat enough for agriculture. Fine and dandy.
The rest of this place is crown land. You can wander about and camp with your heart's content, as you please.
Really, it's 14 days wild camp then move on. Sept.01 to Nov.15 is the biggest collection of various hunting seasons.
Most all of the good vehicle-access spots are occupied. Invisibly tidy camp sites. Invisible.

There are llama pack trains for hire. Never done it but you can.
Gawd but llama taste awful. Never eat llama. Just don't.

But if you have the hots to go for sheep and goats up top or really get into the back of beyond, you hire an outfitter.
They have licensed territories and come with full camps and pack trains of horses.
Legally, I can't "take you out." Yet, you are free to wander about the place and nobody will bother you at all.

I can't believe that the UK is any different = the reputation of the packer/outfitter and the animals will go a long way for bookings.
I have always wanted to go back to BC and explore a bit more than I had a chance to do when I was there!

I might be unfair here, but as far as I've seen (at a cursory glance), the llama trekking tours in the UK are more along the lines of "take a llama for a walk, have a picnic". Nothing wrong with that, but very different to a multi-day hike and camp trip.
 

SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
860
557
Ceredigion
"Don't forget the Elephants please.
I think if you knit them a good jumper, warm cap, socks and so on, they will be glad to go for hiking with you in the Scottish highlands without any doubt."


Hannibal Barkas

;)
Not sure I'm up for that knitting challenge!

How are elephants with stiles? ;)
 
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sunndog

Full Member
May 23, 2014
3,567
472
derbyshire
That's the thing with sheepdogs isn't it. :) I think the goats stuck to the path and fairly close behind. Many/most ppl seemed to have them on a string though.

But that's the thing, here you'd most likely be on grazed land, probably with other grazers present. And goats are counted as livestock so I'm sure their are rules around their movements.


He doesn't like to see the sheep 'untidy' so even when we aren't doing anything with them he'll often take it upon himself to organise them a bit lol
Seeing a stray sheep looking thing he'd be like "I'll have that" I'm sure

Seriously though the only thing I could see people having an issue with is bio security. No idea about worms in goats or nasty things like codd. But I wouldn't be very happy if I saw a goat walking through and then suddenly I had scab or something on the farm.

The biggest hurdle you'd face is movement notice. If I want to move sheep off the farm onto another it has to be recorded and sent off to the government
 

Decacraft

Full Member
Jul 28, 2021
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South Wales
From my experience goats can be more affectionate than most animals- as soon as you show an interest in them and they catch on your friendly and possibly have something for them I find they will attach themselves and its very difficult to get them away- they want to be stroked, fed and in the way 24/7.

Currently building on a 5acre farm with livestock- the goats are most definitly the biggest troublemakers and the first faces to be seen when I arrive, and they have even stolen my bacon thats been cooking on an open fire grill.

I have no idea how people tame them to not be a nuisance and keep them out of the fire or food, but hats off to them for training them.
 

Spirit fish

Banned
Aug 12, 2021
338
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Doncaster
Perusing the internet, I came across the intriguing concept of 'pack goats', which got me wondering: where would you be allowed to go hiking with a pack animal in the UK?

Horses are fine on roads and bridleways, but what about on commons and public access land?

And what about donkies (same as horses?), llamas and goats? I know llama trekking is a thing, but not sure how they operate - I assume they'll have agreements with land owners in place. Goats are livestock though, right, so can you take those on bridleways that aren't on your own land without a bunch of permits?

At least with dogs, they're allowed on most footpaths and they can carry stuff as well.
Do what u want if you want to take lhamas for a walk anybody that attempts to stop u is very miserable and just a jobsworth tell them to **** off!!
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,482
2,215
McBride, BC
Llama packing was going to be glamorous in the western National Parks. I never bothered to learn what the Park Service thought of the business idea.
I think trying to run domesticated goats in the mountains is no more than Grizzly bear bait. Then you have a REAL problem.

Here in BC, The licensed guide/outfitters will book you out for some sort of a hunting trip. Find the game, find the region, find the outfit and look them up.
Packers are in it for the long haul, suppose you were a geologist, doing the summer transect rock collections.
Big wall tents, camp and cook, food for 3 weeks at a time.
The night wind off the glaciers will chill your cojones.

When I could walk well and for long distances, having any kind of beasts of burden would have been so relaxing.
Bigger and longer trips, more tools and toys, a lot more food and drink. Just a grand "outing."

I hope you can do it somehow.
 

TLM

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 16, 2019
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Vantaa, Finland
There is a relative lack of brown bears on the Misty Isles. Surprisingly many countries on the continent do have them.

Llamas apparently can over power foxes and coyotes and a small heard of them is a match for wolves. Using the larger relative Bactrian camel probably would solve any doubts there. Might stop a bear even, they are large.

Of course european bears have been conditioned so they are not nearly as aggressive as their Am. cousins but they do get hungry every now and then.
 

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