1 January 2026 is a legal cut-off date for adding historic paths to the definitive map – the official record of the public rights of way in an area. We need help from volunteers to ensure that these rights are protected and we have held our first workshop in Norfolk to provide guidance on how to do this.
The need now is for volunteers to review records in a systematic fashion so that we capture every route in Norfolk which is a public right of way but not yet recorded as one (or is recorded for use at lower rights than it should be). The Area has set aside money to hold workshops for anyone (not just in The Ramblers) willing to spend some time on this, to show them just how this can be done. The first of these workshops, led by Helen Chester of the British Horse Society was held on 29 October, when 17 people attended and learned how to undertake this research.
In the space of 3½ hours, Helen gave a detailed authoritative presentation about what evidence was available and how to track it down and present it. At the end of this tour de force, she received a spontaneous round of applause. We’re really grateful to everyone who took part, both in attending the event and also those who helped to organise it. This work is really important and although the deadline seems a long way in the future, there is much work that needs to take place now to protect our paths.
If you would like to take part in a future workshop, or just to know more, please contact Ken Hawkins firstname.lastname@example.org or 07505 426750.
The official opening of the second stretch of the county’s English Coast Path took place this week in Great Yarmouth, a path which stretches from Hopton-on-Sea to Sea Palling. The first stage of the path has already been opened and runs from Weybourne to Sea Palling.
There was a formal event at St.Georges Theatre in Great Yarmouth, which was attended by Lord Gardiner (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DEFRA), David Collis (Chairman of Norfolk County Council) and Andrews Sells (chairman of Natural England). Alison Hallas, the Rambler’s policy and advocacy officer was also in attendance, with Ian Mitchell, Peter James, Catherine Hawkins and Ken Hawkins also representing Ramblers.
There were talks about how the opening of the path was of benefit to tourism in the area, as well as the benefits of walking which can improve physical and mental health. After the meeting there then followed a walk around the town.
New signage has been added along the route which is an important additional element to the English coast path. This is an on-going project, supported by the Ramblers, which will open by 2020 allowing access around the entire coast-line of England. Further information about progress is available at http://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/england-coast-path.
A walk organised by Norwich group to support the Children in Need charity has raised over £300. The walk was led by Stephen Bennison and his wife Jackie, with 34 people taking part in the walk.
The group, one of ten in Norfolk Area, also completed a walk in the Holkham area the same charity in 2015.
At the end of October 2016, Norfolk County Council is holding its second Walking Festival which now also includes cycling. The full event runs from 22 to 30 October, and incorporates the ‘official’ opening of the second Norfolk stretch of the England Coast Path (Hopton on Sea to Sea Palling) on Monday 24 October. The Ramblers has, via Peter James, entered a walk along this stretch in two parts, on Sundays 23 and 30 October. Our member Ken Hawkins has also entered walks for Dereham Walkers are Welcome on 23, 26 and 28 October.
Booking for all of the walks in the Festival is through the Festival website at http://www.norfolkwalkingfestival.co.uk/, and there are also good links from the Norfolk County Council home page https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/.