The society has been campaigning for the protection of rights of way since the end of the 19th century. We continue to offer support and assistance to members both from our head office in Henley and through our network of local correspondents. We have recently assisted our members with the following:
- Advising a member in Hampshire about a green lane long present on Ordnance Survey maps, but not recorded on the definitive map of rights of way. We provided assistance on the interpretation of historical evidence needed to secure confirmation of a definitive map modification order to record the green lane as a restricted byway.
- Assisting a member in north Gloucestershire on a footpath across publicly-owned land. We explained how to seek a direction from the Secretary of State to speed up determination of her application for a definitive map modification order, and on the council’s subsequent handling of the order.
- Working with a member in Lincolnshire to object to plans to realign coastal defences. The plans provided for a breach in the footpath along the sea wall. We explained how the footpath might be affected by an order made by the Secretary of State under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and how best an objection might be lodged.
- Advising a parish council on engaging the highway authority to address an obstruction to a public right of way. We explained the different mechanisms available to it, including the special provision exclusively available to parish and community councils of making representations under s.130(6) of the Highways Act 1980 — about which we have now published a guidance note [link to this].
- Supporting a member in Kent on the creation of a new short but vital stretch of footpath along the edge of an estuary. We were able to advise on the creation and extinguishment orders, and the impact which a separate application for a definitive map modification order, to delete the path to be extinguished, might have on the outcome.