In the recent case of Jeffries v Robb [2012] EWCA Civ 1149 the Court of Appeal clarified what is permitted under a right of way "for all purposes".

Mrs Jeffries had a right of way "for all purposes" over agricultural land owned by Mr and Mrs Robb. Mr and Mrs Robb sought an injunction against Mrs Jeffries after she used her right of way to photograph, spy and eavesdrop on them and had fixed a video camera to her tractor in order to film their land as she drove by. The Court's view was that a right of way should not diminish a landowner's enjoyment of his land anymore than is inevitable and granted an injunction which prevented Mrs Jeffries from lingering or loitering on the land and only allowed her to pass along the right of way if she did so "at a reasonable speed".

Mrs Jeffries appealed, arguing that the inclusion of the words "at a reasonable speed" may prevent her from, for instance, walking her dog which might naturally dawdle. The Court of Appeal rejected her argument stating that what was a reasonable speed would depend on the circumstances. For example, if a person was walking with a child, elderly person or dog then it would be reasonable for them to walk slower than if they were walking alone.

The key point that this case demonstrates is that the exercise of a right of way "granted for all purposes" cannot be used as a means to legitimise otherwise unlawful actions. A right of way must be used only for the purpose which it is granted.

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