Request for residents to check paths and bridleways

Published: 17 December 2020

We have had the following request in:

Parish councils are traditional defenders of rights of way, so you are probably aware that many paths and bridleways, which still exist in law although they are not evident on the ground will be done away with in just five years time if not added to the rights of way before then

You are probably aware that Ramblers central office has now published a map of the paths identified as potential lost rights of way. It is at You will need your email address and password (the same as for Ramblers website, Assemble, etc.) to log in.

The map was drawn up by comparing an Ordnance Survey map of around 1900 and a Bartholomew map of around the same year. The routes that were shown as bridleways, footpaths or roads on the old maps but are not shown on the current Definitive Maps as rights of way today are marked with blue dashes.

Our little group of lost ways activists at Sussex Dont Lose Your Way (DLYW) will not be able to able to research all of the routes on the map in the time available before 2026 so we need help to decide which ones are really worth following up.

As you are the expert on paths in your parish, could you identify those routes that would be a really useful addition to the rights of way network in your parish Please dont exclude paths just because you think that they may have been blocked up or diverted, unless you are absolutely sure that they have been diverted. DLYW will be checking diversion orders later. You may feel that you have enough rights of way already, in which case there is no need to reply, but I thought you ought to be given an opportunity. This is probably the last chance.

We cannot promise to research every path that is sent in. Indeed we may come back to you for help, but we will do what we can.

The best way for you to reply is to cut and paste an image of the route in question into a Word or similar document. You can do this using Windows tools Snipping tool or snip and sketch and there are similar tools on the Mac. Failing this the grid references will do.

Can I please ask you to reply by the end of January by sending your findings to me at

If it is not clear from the email address please say which parish each route is in.