There is an interesting article in the Guardian newspaper this week which looks at rights of way and the work we are doing to protect them. We need to ensure that rights of way are listed on the definitive map by 2026, otherwise we risk losing them permanently.
We run free training courses on how you can help with 2026, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in finding out more. There’s also more information available at the national Ramblers site.
Ian Mitchell, the area footpath co-ordinator, has compiled a list of all of the changes to the Norfolk Rights of Way over the last two years.
The complete list is available to view at the below PDF file:
Changes to Norfolk Rights of Way during 2014-2016.
For anyone who encounters a path problem in Norfolk, where sure of your details, this can be reported directly to:
Rights of Way Team, Planning & Transportation Dept, Norfolk County Council, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2SG. (Telephone: 0344 800 8020.)
You can also report them online via the map at http://maps.norfolk.gov.uk/highways/ – find the path, click on it,
and follow the instructions.
If unsure, or the problem is not clear, report the problem to Ian Mitchell at email@example.com. Ian would also like to know anything directly reported to the Rights of Way Team.
North Norfolk has two newly recognised very useful paths on the Definitive Map of public rights of way that have come about by dedication by their landowners. One is now a restricted byway that runs between Sustead and Bessingham passing Thurgarton Old Hall and the southeast end of Sustead FP3. The other is now a bridleway called Coopers Lane on the OS map in Gresham.
The former came about after two local people started collecting evidence from local users because of a change of landowner, and seeking advice from the Ramblers and receiving some documentary evidence from us.
The second came about after local residents heard that last year the owner made a deposit with the County Council under the Highways Act 1980 section 31(6) of a map of his land about Gresham, Aylmerton and East Beckham (NCC ref: D14-12) and a declaration that there were no more than the already recognised rights of way. The local residents must have protested to him and Mr Clifton-Brown MP is to be congratulated on deciding to dedicate this enclosed path.
These dedications under the Highways Act 1980 section 25 are arranged by the County Council free of charge (at the moment) to either claimants or landowners. Faced with solid evidence, they are a way of the landowner retaining some control of the present situation as, if say new gates have been constructed, they are part the package and nobody can object.
Higher rights (say restricted byway over bridleway) might still be claimed but it would have to be a separate claim for a modification order upgrading the status of a recognised path and it may not get much user evidence now, and perhaps have to rely on a single historical document.
Ian Mitchell, the Norfolk Area Footpath Co-ordinator.