The British Horse Society (BHS) Shropshire Committee are initiating a campaign to restore unrecorded public rights of way onto the Definitive Map held by Local Authorities in the County and are requesting help from the public to achieve their aim.
The Definitive Map and accompanying statement form the legal record of the position and status of public rights of way in England and Wales. In March 2015 the Government brought into effect legislation that would mean that rights of way which are not recorded on the Definitive Map by 1 January 2026 will be lost forever.
To preserve these public rights of way it is imperative that users come together to ensure that all routes which are being used are actually legally recorded to protect their status after the cut- off date. Due to financial constraints on Local Authorities they do not have the resources to survey their areas to ensure that the Definitive Map is up to date so it is up to users to ensure that applications are submitted to the Council requesting that a route be recorded.
Shropshire spans an area of 3,487 km2 and is served by approximately 5500 km of recorded rights of way but no doubt there are still many routes that are being frequently used which are not actually formally recorded on the Definitive Map.
The BHS Shropshire Committee is holding an informal meeting on Friday 11 March 2016 at Dorrington Village Hall at 7 pm and would welcome all rights of way users to attend to share and identify routes that are used and assess whether they are in fact properly recorded. Attendees do not need to be a BHS member. The meeting is open to all.
A brief talk will be given by Mark Weston, BHS Director of Access, to discuss lost routes and how they can be preserved. The Shropshire Committee’s Access Officers will also be hand to answer any questions and to gather information on possible routes that need to be recorded.
It is also hoped that sufficient interest will be generated for a sub-committee of volunteers to be formed to assist the Access Officers in researching lost routes at the local archives and gathering user evidence to enable comprehensive modification applications to be submitted to the Local Authorities before 1 January 2026.