Other Paths PAROW Home Page
Definitive Footpaths and Bridleways provide us with much of what we walk and ride but many definitive paths do not connect from road to road or to another footpath or bridleway. Many deliver you onto a farm lane over which there is no recorded right of way. Many deliver you into a farmyard across which there is no proper Right of Way. Often where path crosses a parish boundary the definitive path stops or changes status.
On many of these non-definitive paths there undoubtedly unrecorded rights of way. See Rights of Way.
There are also some specifically permissive paths. Not all of the Coastal Footpath is a definitive Right of Way
Is there a problem with such paths?
Whilst you are using them without problem there is no problem. However there is a possibility that you may be stopped from using them at any time.
Many properties and farms are being sold. New owners, unaware of the historic use of the paths, will have been assured on purchase that there are no rights of way, along the path which is on their property or to which their property adjoins, and then sometimes try and stop use of the path. Unfortunately they are often in their rights to do so until it is prove in law that there are unrecorded rights of way along the path. See Rights of Way.
What can be done?
1. Please let your local Footpath or Bridleway Association or the Ramblers Association if you encounter any problems on paths that have previously been used without problem. See Contacts
2. Find out if other walker and riders have used the path and over how many years.
3. Consider preparing a Modification Order to have the path recorded on the definitive map as a footpath or bridleway. This process does require sufficient evidence to prove that the path has been used without hinderence over a 20 year period.