If historic Public Rights of Way are not registered on the Norfolk County Council Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way by 1 January 2026 they will be extinguished forever. Rights of Way are important for anyone who walks, cycles or rides through our glorious countryside.
Over the last few years the council has engaged with Parish Councils and residents to encourage the registration of Rights of Way by the deadline. I recently asked how many registrations have been made:
2014 – 7
2015 – 4
2016 – 19
2017 – 23
2018 – 28
2019 – 51
2020 – 10
I also asked how many miles that adds up to but they haven’t got back to me on that yet (NCC claims to be responsible for around 2,400 miles of footpaths, bridleways and the like).
Not all of these applications will be upheld but the reason I asked is that it clearly will add to the total mileage that needs to be maintained. And it is not at all clear that the County Council has a plan for doing this properly. This is something I will raise with the Council. Walking, cycling and riding is even more important now than it has been – we all need access to open space as we fight our way out of the Pandemic. NCC needs to have a plan that will ensure it does its job properly.
If you want to learn more about Public Rights of Way in Norfolk you can read about them here.