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Government to make rights of way simpler to record

Posted 14 May 2012
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Government to make rights of way simpler to record
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Rights of way will be simpler and easier to record under new plans unveiled by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Environment minister Richard Beynon has unveiled proposals to speed up the process of recording such rights of way, in order to help ensure that they can be established before the cut off that for claiming historical paths that was set out in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

This should be good news for those who like to go walking, as disputed paths may be confirmed sooner and the chances of them being lost will recede.

Plans will include landowners only being able to move rights of way if this does not hamper public enjoyment of such routes.

Environment minister Richard Beynon said: "Footpaths, bridleways and trails are the life-blood for many rural communities, providing access to our world-renowned landscapes. Our changes will help protect access for the thousands of people who walk, ride and cycle in the countryside every week."

The plans have been devised through the development of a consensus between landowners and outdoor groups, with Ramblers and Country Land and Business Association among those involved.

Another body taking part in the discussions was the Open Spaces Society and its general secretary Kate Ashbrook said it was very important to speed up the process of confirming paths.

She remarked: "In the 12 years since the 2026 cut-off was introduced in law, local authorities' backlogs of path claims have increased, not least due to budget cuts."

Those wanting to walk on more paths around England may also share the delight expressed by the OSS that Natural England has announced work is to begin on five new stretches of the English Coastal Path.

These areas include the Durham, Hartlepool and Sunderland coast, a stretch of Cumbria's coast between Allonby and Whitehaven, between Ramsgate and Folkestone in Kent, the Norfolk Coast area between Weybourne and Sea Paling and Somerset between Minehead and Brean Town.