Avid Rambler

Don't Lose Your Way deadline set to be abolished

16 February 2022

The UK government has today (16th Feb) announced that the 2026 deadline to register historic paths is to be abolished in England.

This great news for walkers, which follows years of campaigning by the Ramblers, will help ensure more people can connect with nature for generations to come. It gives us more time save the most important and useful paths, ensuring they’re added back to the map and protected for the future. 

The deadline of January 2026 meant that any paths not applied for by that date would no longer be able to be added to maps based on historical evidence and risked being lost forever.

"After years of campaigning by the Ramblers, the announcement by the government that they will abolish the 2026 deadline for registering historic paths is a cause for celebration. This welcome decision means that, with the help of our brilliant volunteers, we’ll be able to make sure the most important and useful paths are added back to the map and protected for future generations. And we no longer have the pressure of an arbitrary deadline in either England or Wales that put so many of our rights of way at risk."
Jack Cornish, Head of paths for the Ramblers

Don’t Lose Your Way campaign

In 2020, thousands of supporters joined our Don’t Lose Your Way campaign to search for lost paths, discovering over 49,000 miles of potential unrecorded rights of way in England and Wales.

Since then, we’ve been working tirelessly with a dedicated team of volunteers to prioritise the paths that would be the most useful additions to the definitive map. We have also been developing resources to support volunteers in researching the historic evidence needed and making applications to local authorities.

The removal of the 2026 deadline in England, which had already been announced for Wales back in 2018, gives us more time save the most important and useful paths, ensuring they’re added back to the map and protected for future generations. It will also help ease the pressure on under-resourced local authorities, who need to process all the claims for missing rights of way.

Help us research lost paths

Whilst the deadline is set to be abolished, we still need to save thousands of miles of lost paths. Sign up as a volunteer and get involved in researching and apply for lost paths

You can find out more about the campaign, and view the map of lost paths, on our website.

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