Author Topic: Footspaths lost  (Read 2072 times)

Andies

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #30 on: 15:12:14, 06/11/20 »
The first step is to get the lost paths reinstated in the Definitive Map.  This is a paper exercise.  I would have thought that the burden of proof issue was fairly straightforward given where the data on these lost ways are drawn from.  The sources are documentary rather than anecdotal.  Here is the old map on which the path is shown,  here is the Definitive Map on which the path is missing.  The only reason why a path should not be accepted onto the Definitive Map should be that it is no longer physically possible e.g. a housing development, industrial estate, reservoir or motorway in the way.


Once they have been accepted onto the Definitive Map the rest can follow in slower time and the paths that need to be, can be reinstated in order of those that offer greatest benefits first.  How this is done and how it is funded can be argued about once the Definitive Map has been updated.


IMHO the addition of other lost ways that are not marked as FPs on the old maps and the creation of new through routes is a separate issue requiring a greater burden of proof.


If only it was that straight forward. As I understand it the maps may indicate a footpath was there but not necessarily a public right of way. A disclaimer to this effect appears on all OS maps.
More evidence is required and that is where the difficulty is. The whole subject can be incredibly complicated and is to my mind skewed very much in favour of the landowner. The best evidence is of course that of users but with most routes I have investigated there just aren't any alive now, as the paths have long since fallen out of use and were never included on the definitive map, often of course through the failures of the system.
Some years ago when first getting involved in lost ways I was told by a very well known Ramblers Footpath Officer who has got hundreds of ROW onto the definitive map that: "I  warn you that your research may well end in nothing more than frustration". He was of course right but I learnt an enormous amount in going through records of all kinds, many of which I never knew existed.
Others herein may already know of this reference book but I have certainly found it useful in my research as it explains the process of researching lost rights of ways in great detail. Namely: "Rights of Way, Restoring the Record, by Sarah Bucks and Phil Wadey ISBN 978-0-9574036-1-1.
It's worth a read although I found it a bit repetitive in parts.

ninthace

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #31 on: 16:09:45, 06/11/20 »
My bad - I thought the pecked lines marked FP on the maps we were looking at were old ROWs as distinct from the other pecked lines on the  map which I thought had the same status as the modern black pecked line.
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barewirewalker

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #32 on: 19:27:59, 06/11/20 »
The first step is to get the lost paths reinstated in the Definitive Map.  This is a paper exercise.  I would have thought that the burden of proof issue was fairly straightforward given where the data on these lost ways are drawn from.  The sources are documentary rather than anecdotal.  Here is the old map on which the path is shown,  here is the Definitive Map on which the path is missing.
I may be wrong but I think that if many of the lostways got through 2016 and found their way to a court of inquiry, one of the burdens of proof would be factual evidence that the way had been used by within a witness' living memory. The actual written is more likely to be part of estate records, much of this destroyed or decaying in attics and unlikely to be unearthed. The people, who would have used these ways will be long dead, as the paths they walked were closed off back in the 60's as the definitive map started to allow new users to walk these ways.

A way that might be discovered because tax relief might have been claimed on it in 1911, yet still needs to be shown to be used and the it is only centenarians, who can provide this witnessed information.
BWW
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Andies

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #33 on: 21:53:38, 06/11/20 »
There are many different types of evidence that can be used to support a claim to have a right of way added to the definitive map, but clearly this must be sufficient to meet the requirements especially where this is challenged by a landowner. Ultimately the decision rests with the Rights of Way Department but can go to an Inspector on appeal.
Some evidence can be conclusive proof on it's own such as reference to the setting out of a footpath in an Inclosure Award. Usually there is a mixture of evidence that builds the case. It's not necessary to have user evidence and is indeed impractical in many older cases. Obviously where there is strong substantiated user evidence this is very useful in making the case.
The whole area is so complex and demanding to be very difficult to pursue in my opinion. I have been researching one such potential lost way in a neighbouring village for the past couple of years and must have spent dozen of hours pursuing matters, and still haven't got enough evidence although I believe I am getting there. Many dead ends and surprises along the way but all very interesting. Unfortunately Covid hasn't helped progress in recent months.
That said I have come to believe the system is broken and that the odds are stacked against me as it stands. Consequently I know I need to get as much evidence as I can as I know the landowner will resist the claimed right of way. Even then I suspect without the support of the Ramblers I would not feel confident in pursuing the claim.

mad dug

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #34 on: 23:38:27, 07/11/20 »
Like another poster I do not hold Ramblers membership as my income is a pretty  meagre pension and I cant justify the outlay on ramblers membership over heating costs. I have made a donation on the crowdfunding page though and pleased to see that they have now raised over 66,800 . They aimed to raise 49000 so it shows it is a cause close to peoples hearts and hopefully the extra money raised will give them a bit more clout .(money talks they say )
I live on the Essex / Suffolk border and see that Essex has 1422 miles of lost paths and Suffolk 1918 miles.I optimistically look forward to these lost paths being reinstated before my great great grandchildren are " aw deid"
 

Eyelet

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #35 on: 10:34:41, 08/11/20 »
The map on the Ramblers site is very limited and you can't make any detail out. I would be very interested to see what paths they think they have identified in my area but I assume you need to sign up to see more?

This might be a better starting point ...

https://data.nls.uk/projects/finding-lost-footpaths-using-gb1900/

Andies

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #36 on: 12:30:40, 08/11/20 »
Thanks for the link Eyelet but unless I am misunderstanding what I am looking at this is a data set referencing the annotation of "F.P." that is a footpath on these old maps. What I am hoping to see at some point is the detailed map showing the possible lost ways that the Ramblers project has identified as such.
I have also taken a detailed look at the Lost Ways Project information on the Ramblers website and I think some of my fears about this are confirmed in that detail. Namely they will focus their efforts on lost ways that are "useful" and whilst some guidance is given of what they feel is useful, I do feel this all misses the important issue of how come so many routes have been missed off in the first place. As I have said a number of times before I think the focus of the finding of 49,000 miles of lost ways through this exercise alone shows just how poorly the system has worked or not over the past 70 years. Consequently the argument should be that we need a different system going forward and not just an acceptance that we can sort matters by 2026 or 2031 with a five year extension as the Ramblers are suggesting, and then forget about anything that didn't make it onto the definitive map.
Like another poster I do not hold Ramblers membership as my income is a pretty  meagre pension and I cant justify the outlay on ramblers membership over heating costs. I have made a donation on the crowdfunding page though and pleased to see that they have now raised over 66,800 . They aimed to raise 49000 so it shows it is a cause close to peoples hearts and hopefully the extra money raised will give them a bit more clout .(money talks they say )
I live on the Essex / Suffolk border and see that Essex has 1422 miles of lost paths and Suffolk 1918 miles.I optimistically look forward to these lost paths being reinstated before my great great grandchildren are " aw deid"
 
I admire your optimism mad dug but as I referred to in a previous post on this thread the Suffolk Ramblers Footpath Officer and his predecessor John Andrews as referenced in the Suffolk Ramblers Autumn Newsletter don't seem very optimistic that there are many potential routes that can be added as there isn't the necessary historical evidence out there that is required under the current system. So as I keep saying hereon the current system isn't IMHO going to deliver much more. Hence I am somewhat reluctant to donate and I wonder if this isn't just being used to top the coffers up a bit. Whilst such fundraising will and indeed must be ring fenced (restricted funds under Charity Law) for this purpose, I would have thought that this whole area goes to the very core of the Ramblers objects and should be what my annual subscription is already funding :-\

Eyelet

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #37 on: 12:57:08, 08/11/20 »
Thanks for the link Eyelet but unless I am misunderstanding what I am looking at this is a data set referencing the annotation of "F.P." that is a footpath on these old maps. What I am hoping to see at some point is the detailed map showing the possible lost ways that the Ramblers project has identified as such.

No you are not misunderstanding, the RA mapping hasn't been released yet as far as I know, but a lot of the leg work (pun intended ;) ) was based on historical OS mapping and this collection of paths with the F.P. annotation was one element. RA will release the 'lost paths' mapping in due course and I would expect it to be very similar to the BHS mapping project for lost bridleways: https://www.bhsaccess.org.uk/dobbin/Project2026.php.  I believe the two organisations are collaborating on the '2026' project.

Andies

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #38 on: 15:18:47, 08/11/20 »
I would expect it to be very similar to the BHS mapping project for lost bridleways: https://www.bhsaccess.org.uk/dobbin/Project2026.php.  I believe the two organisations are collaborating on the '2026' project.
An interesting link. I took a look at my local area and not surprisingly  I saw some correlation with lost ways that I believe exist. What seemed to be missing when I drilled down into the detail of these lost bridleways was anything other than someone having marked the map as such. That is there was no evidence recorded to support a claim which is of course the difficult bit.
For example I completed a large number of squares as a part of the Ramblers project and marked up hundreds of potential lost ways in so doing. But the practicality of compiling the evidence to support these even if it does exist is enormous. I have spent many hours over the past couple of years on one potential lost way alone, and whilst I have some good evidence I know it isn't enough to be sure of success. Interestingly this is one that appears in part on the BHS site but alas no evidence thereon.
I also noted that the BHS site had some local routes I had never entertained as possible lost ways but without anything other than the route logged it is impossible to know why someone has logged it. In addition some routes logged thereon were already ROW on the definitive map which I thought meant the loggers were trying to upgrade from footpaths to bridleways, but on closer inspection these were more often than not already bridleways, byways or other tracks used as roads, which was rather confusing. That said anything that gets people interested in the subject is good, but I fear this may all die a death in the face of the practicalities of making claims under the current system. It can't cope now let alone if hundreds of claims do start to be made.
« Last Edit: 15:23:47, 08/11/20 by Andies »

barewirewalker

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #39 on: 22:34:38, 08/11/20 »
The evidence of the map comparisons used by the ramblers is purely circumstantial, as I see it, but the level the compilation of the the definitive map is based on the same maps is surely the strongest supporting evidence. It is the omissions that need to be looked at critically, as those officers of local government trusted with the task were supporting local landowners who did not want rights of way.

In my locality it is clear from an inside knowledge of landownership that the flaws in the definitive map are supported by private estates having support from officials or being the officials themselves, who were biased against the intentions of the 1949 Act.


The counter argument that the ramblers are hoping to carry the re-instatement of these lostways would be best interpreted by building a case on economics. Routes that serve a purpose and can be identified, earn money, surveys show this. The individual landowner, who denies access also denies some part of the economy along the way from benefiting from that way. Too often the individual landowner is so wrapped up in his own local self importance that he is blind to the wider map.
BWW
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Andies

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #40 on: 10:34:32, 09/11/20 »
The counter argument that the ramblers are hoping to carry the re-instatement of these lostways would be best interpreted by building a case on economics. Routes that serve a purpose and can be identified, earn money, surveys show this. The individual landowner, who denies access also denies some part of the economy along the way from benefiting from that way. Too often the individual landowner is so wrapped up in his own local self importance that he is blind to the wider map.
As usual I agree with all that you say BWW. The problem is how do we get that message across to the landowners. In the case that I have often referred to hereon about a dead end path that crosses two landowners farm land I did get a response from one landowner when I approached them about the issue but I fear this was only because they were a district councillor. It didn't give me a favourable response but there was some acknowledgement at least. The other landowner, a notorious character locally, shall we call him Mr Y, never even acknowledged my enquiry. He sees no real threat in my enquiry because he has ignored the rules in respect to this path for years and nothing is done about it by: the ROW Department, the Ramblers, or the Parish Council. I am irrelevant to him as he fails to see the link between his activities and me as a consumer of his products, let alone as a user of a ROW in the rural economy.
Unfortunately for him his selfish behaviour is beginning to catch up with him. Apparently one of his clan, no doubt equally brainwashed by the same inherited entitlement, challenged a village resident on the footpath route in an unfortunate manner. As a consequence interest has been re-ignited, as some previously unfamiliar with the corruption of the past and indeed present now take an interest, and the Parish Council under increased informed pressure is having to look again. What will come of it I am not sure but I think the message is to keep pushing when and where you can as it's the only way anything will ever happen.... :-\


barewirewalker

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #41 on: 15:54:19, 11/11/20 »
As usual I agree with all that you say BWW. The problem is how do we get that message across to the landowners.What will come of it I am not sure but I think

the message is to keep pushing when and where you can as it's the only way anything will ever happen.... :-\
And to keep up talking about it, every now and again a particular instance sparks up some connectivity with other walkers. If this subject received as much response as popular issues outside of our common interest but seem to make onto this forum then perhaps the popular press would pick up on it. I think we walkers should be far more critical of the Rambler's PR, if you compare the level of articles the RSPB manage to pump out in editorial in almost every section of the media, walking, as the fastest growing and numerically the most participated in, pastime / sport is very poorly supported.
The countryside lobby groups supporting leisure users are poorly supported by those businesses that make money out clothing and equipment, TV programs such as Countryfile pussyfoot around the issue. Perhaps the popular press will start to realise there are some good stories to be had at the expense of the 'Colonel Blimps' of 'Nouveau Sqiredom' and the Lord Haw Haws' of the CLA's propaganda.
BWW
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mad dug

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #42 on: 00:17:29, 12/11/20 »
I agree fully with your posts on this subject Andies . I am an optimistic person normally and although I don't hold up much hope in any changes happening with the lost footpath campaign I thought it was worth my little financial punt.I look on it as my little kick at the landowning "gentry".


pleb

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #43 on: 12:28:11, 12/11/20 »
Is there a site with a more detailed breakdown of areas missing paths? Eg. West Yorkshire. Then areas within it. Just looked and cannot see anything.
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pdstsp

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Re: Footspaths lost
« Reply #44 on: 12:58:24, 12/11/20 »

Here you go Pleb,

https://e-activist.com/page/70259/action/1


Not the greatest clarity on the map unfortunately.