Putting England’s lost paths back on the map

More of us are taking the time to unplug from technology and get out and about in nature. And, with 140,000 miles of public rights of way that cross England and Wales, there’s plenty of ground to explore.

Don’t Lose Your Way (DLYW) is an ambitious project, created by The Ramblers’ Association, to save historic and unrecorded rights of way. The project will collect the historical, documentary evidence needed to build and submit applications – and we wanted to do what we could to help.

  • According to the 2019-20 Sport England Active Lives report, over 20 million people walked for Leisure.
  • There are 140,000 miles of public rights of way that cross England and Wales, allowing everyone to access and enjoy our nation’s incredible natural heritage on foot and on bike.
  • The first phase of Don’t Lose Your Way in early 2020 identified over 49,000 miles of potential lost path across England and Wales, including 470 miles in Greater London, that need to be investigated and saved.

Creating a green legacy

Our grant of £25,000 is helping recruit, train and equip 1,300 volunteers with the digital tools they need to protect the 470 miles of potentially lost paths in London and the 49,000 miles across the UK. Together they’ll help resolve dead ends, connect routes and create more paths away from roads, enabling even greater access for the public.

As well as creating a green legacy for future generations, volunteers gain an understanding of historic paths as well as learning invaluable research, archiving and mapping skills.

“Our dedicated volunteers are working so hard to make sure we don’t lose our historic rights of way – we couldn’t do this without them. Not only are these paths a part of our history, carved out by feet over hundreds of years, but they are also vital to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy access to the countryside.”

Jack Cornish, Programme Manager, Don’t Lose Your Way

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