Despite the potential benefits accruing from use of the rural landscape, access to farmland is a contentious issue with many landowners restricting public access. Within this context, this paper first explores general public preferences and willingness to pay for farmland walking trails in the Irish countryside. Second this paper examines farmers' willingness to participate in a hypothetical walking scheme whereby the general public will be allowed access to specific trails. Results suggest that individuals are not a homogeneous group with regard to their preferences for farmland walking trails. From a supply perspective, this paper identified significant regional variations in farmers' attitudes relating to public access. More generally, the analysis presented here would suggest that there is significant scope for policy intervention to improve public access to the countryside. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.