We had hoped that the Discovering Lost Ways project, which we were promised when the CROW Act was passed, was going to target these routes for us. Since Natural England now seems unable to carry this through, we have no choice but to do it ourselves.
As well as bridleways and other public rights of way on the map, there are many routes which are missing from the map or only recorded as footpaths. We are beginning to submit claims to the County Council’s Rights of Way department to have some of these ‘lost ways’ put on the Definitive map. Such applications can be made up of historical evidence or user evidence (over a period of 20 years continuous use) or both.
At the end of May 2008 we started submitting claims for local routes. We intend to submit claims on a continuing basis and would welcome any suggestions of routes that are currently used by horse riders and/or carriage drivers (or, were in the past) which are not on the Definitive map as bridleways but you believe might be old public routes. We will prepare the submission and, if you are interested, show you the various historical documents held by the various archive record offices.
Progress will be slow, these claims will take time to be processed, but we must put in the claims or these routes may be lost forever.