In September 2016, an application to modify the Definitive Map and Statement based on both historical evidence (including the Inclosure Map & Award) and user evidence was submitted by local horse rider, Rachel Livingstone. The final outcome is a beautiful tree lined lane stretching for just under 1.4km.
The application was submitted due to Rachel hearing about the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, and that on 1st January 2026 historical routes that aren’t formally recorded will be extinguished. An ancient lane in her area had to be saved. Local people had been turned back when trying to use the route in the 1980’s by the new landowner so user evidence was thin on the ground. Those that filled in UE Forms were in their 70’s and 80’s, therefore historical evidence was to be very important for the case.
“I didn’t have a clue where to start so I bought the ‘Rights of Way, Restoring the Records’ book and was fascinated by the amount of evidence that could be submitted. With this knowledge I started looking at old maps online and then at the Oxford History Centre. Eureka!! The Inclosure Award of 1853 stated this lane was to be made Public Bridleway. I was so excited.”
“After submitting the evidence it was time to wait - 15 years!! NO, that wasn’t happening. As soon as the year was up I made an application to the Secretary of State for a direction under schedule 14. Oxfordshire County Council were ordered to make a decision within 6 months.”
The application was decided in favour of the Public Bridleway and added to the Definitive Map in April 2019.
In September 2019 major clearance work started by Oxfordshire County Council task clearance team.
This three man team are providing a maintenance service across the entire 2600 mile network of PRoW’s in Oxfordshire, so the clearance of Occupation Lane was a significant piece of work within their very busy programme.
The team have done an outstanding job!
It just goes to show what can be achieved in just 3 years! Rachel is now a Access and Bridleways Officer for West Oxfordshire and has submitted 12 DMMO applications in her area...
Before (photo 1)
After (photo 1)
Download and view more photos of this incredible achievement (pdf)