Sorry, just to clarify, this is a right which you have used for in excess of 20 years - correct?
Do they dispute this? Can this be proved? ie. by statements from you and others...
If you have been using an easement (eg right of way) continuously for 20 years uninterrupted then you have acquired a legal easement from the owner of the land under Prescription Act 1832. Provided you meet this criteria there is no question over whether you have a right of way - you do.
The lady in question cannot now deny you this right of way. If she closes the gates then she must give you a key. If she puts fencing up she must do so in a way and with such access points so that your right is unaffected. You can ask a Court to enforce these things ultimately but practically if you can convince her you have a right of way and then state that you do not wish to restrict the way in which she deals with her land provided it does not affect your legal right of way.,
If she does not comply then you should see a solicitor about writing a tersely worded letter to her (cost £40.00) to see if this prompts compliance. If not then you will have to make an application to Court for an order. If she gets difficult make sure she knows this.
You could also have the right registered against the registered legal title of your property and hers if you wish, this will be useful when coming to sell the property and provides undeniable clarity on the situation. See a local conveyancing solicitor about this if you think it will assist.
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