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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 October 2005, 06:59 GMT 07:59 UK
New concern over private pathways
Langness Lighthouse - courtesy of manxscenes.com
Jeremy Clarkson owns cottages near the lighthouse
Hikers and ramblers are being urged to help take care of paths which cross over private land in the Isle of Man.

The Department of Transport message comes after part of a pathway near Langness Lighthouse had to be closed for renovations.

A section of the path has been cordoned off while the new landowner - Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson - carries out renovations to the lighthouse cottages.

The paths are not public rights of way but "permissive" paths.

This means the landowner has allowed public access to his or her property.

But the department can take steps to make a private path a public right of way.

"The department is not going to rush out and start acting in the public's interest.

"The public have to come to us and say, 'We really think this path should be open and maintained as a public right of way', and then we can act.

"But we don't act without that push," said the department.

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