ACCESS TO THE COUNTRYSIDE
There are 130,000 miles of paths across England and Wales, according to the Ramblers’ website.
In 2026, as a result of the Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000, the law will change. Bridleways and footpaths that existed in 1949 but are neither recorded on a local authority’s Definitive Map & Statement of Public Rights of Way nor the subject of a Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO) application to be recorded, will be extinguished and lost forever.
The Ramblers, British Horse Society and other outdoor groups are therefore urging everyone who values our rights of way to research forgotten paths on maps and documents in their local area: “The more people out there scouring libraries and public records offices for documentation, the more paths we can save before the 2026 deadline.”
There is a dedicated page to claiming unrecorded rights of way on the Ramblers' website or contact them direct at firstname.lastname@example.org