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Thread: Historic Rights of Way

  1. Default Historic Rights of Way

    We are looking to put more of a push currently into getting volunteers to help us with our Historic Rights of Way project. There's some info on our website about the project (https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/g...ric-footpaths/), and I know many of you already have an understanding of the issue. However, for those that aren't aware there are a large number of historic footpaths and bridleways in England that hold public rights but which are not currently included on the Definitive Map of Rights of Way. Previously the maxim 'Once a Highway Always a Highway' has applied. But in 2026 any routes based on historic evidence (so not through current usage) which are not recorded will be lost.

    We are trying to locate as many of these routes which run by/through water as possible. For example old fords, ferries or tow paths etc. These coul hold current public rights, and be useful to paddlers as launch points onto rivers.

    As an example we recently heard about an access point being fenced off on the River Trent at Twyford. The Definitive Map doesn't show it as a Right of Way - but does clearly show the ford on the southern bank of the river. So it's highly likely this should be on the map, which would mean it cannot be blocked off.

    There's more detail in the link added above, but initially we are looking for people who can spare a view hours to do some desk research for us, looking at a ten mile stretch of river (ideally one you know well). This can be:
    - One we've already split into ten mile stretches (Trent, Ouse, Severn and Tyne)
    - One you feel would be a priority due to poor access to the water currently
    - Any river you care about!

    It would be great if any clubs, centers or groups wanted to get involved - I can come out and deliver a workshop to any interested group. However, we can get individuals up and running too! For more information give us a shout at chris.page@britishcanoeing.org.uk

    Best wishes

    Chris

  2. #2
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    River Tyne at Barrasford

    Note from the tour information:

    Please note, Barrasford is only used for access and parking on the Tyne Tour weekend by special arrangement with the landowner.
    Now, this might apply to the parking arrangement but the clue is in the name of the village. There is, shown on the OS map, a public footpath to the right of the field entrance in Dalla Bank which takes you to the river. On the south bank is a corresponding footpath which meets the other end of the ford. The river is relatively shallow at this point and is clearly the location of a historic ford. Exactly where any vehicular access to the ford might have been, who knows but access there is. Please park with consideration.

  3. #3
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    Whitby, North Yorkshire, River Esk. NZ899103 and marked as a ford on the OS Survey 1:10,560 map of 1849.

    . The current line of the ford is slightly different and not currently marked as a ford on recent maps and not marked as a fp or bridleway. I believe it to be a 'public road' of some description even though it is not marked as such. However, several years ago an owner of an ajacent property on the east banked had put a lock and chain across the slip way preventing access to myself and others. I contacted our highways department in Whitby and the chain & lock was gone a few days later.
    http://www.davidwperry.blogspot.co.uk/

  4. #4
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    May 2008
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    If you look carefully on Google Earth you can see the old ford in Whitby that David is referring to. Bit muddy now, though, I'm not sure I'd be keen to ford that river there, even to get to a chippy just before closing time!

  5. #5
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    I am pleased that you are pushing this issue as time is running out fast. I have been involved in a simple case locally in trying to get a footpath recognised, it is not very contentious but it has been ongoing now for 22 years!! The claim was presented by the Rambler but my family as long established residents were named as witnesses. Unhappy at the lack of progress and the death of two of the other witnesses I chassed Staffordshire County Council about it, a copy of their reply below.

    This application currently sits at number 36 on the list of applications awaiting determination. Due to lack of funding we currently only have one solicitor and myself (in a support role) dealing with these matters. We generally deal with 1 application a year.

    Unfortunately I am unable to give you any further information at this time.
    So as you can see at the present rate of progress it will take 48 years before it is dealt with, they may plan to have a blitz before the deadline or they may hope the applications just fade away?

    I only post this to point out how difficult it can be to get these old rights of way registered, so don't delay.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

  6. #6
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    Hi Chris,

    I'd be happy to pickup any 10mile stretch in Leics? Not 100% sure what you need tho?, but I know the Wreake is pretty contentious

    Cheers
    Jon

  7. #7

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    Hi Chris, there is quite a lot of local history interest around the club(Sheffield), so will pass this around.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cloudman View Post
    So as you can see at the present rate of progress it will take 48 years before it is dealt with, they may plan to have a blitz before the deadline or they may hope the applications just fade away?
    It's a pretty poor state of affairs in many council Countryside and Rights of way departments. As a member of local Local access Forums we were presented with details of the cuts Derbyshire CC had to make - and the Head of Service was almost in tears at the effect on what is a very well regarded Rights of Way team.

    There are legal obligations on councils to process new path orders, modification orders and other requests within a defined time period. I can't remember it off the top of my head but it's measured in week, not years! However, since the early 2000s councils have had to ask some very serious questions about their priorities. This is an area we are picking up in the response to the Welsh Government. They have some plans to streamline and amend process around mapping and sorting issues with Public Rights of Way - but that needs to be tacjkled very carefully so as not to make the problem even worse.

    Our understanding (which we are, with Ramblers and others) pushing DEFRA for clarity on is that applications for historic rights have to be put in by 2026, not processed. Otherwise as you say the effective deadline for some councils could have been over 20 years ago!

    I have my suspicions the 2026 deadline will start to get kicked into the long grass, for several reasons. But we cannot rest on that assumption - and regardless of what happens with the deadline knowing more about and getting applications in for these routes is beneficial anyway.

    Chris

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jonah aka View Post
    Hi Chris, there is quite a lot of local history interest around the club(Sheffield), so will pass this around.
    PM sent Jonah.

    If there are any other canoe clubs or groups - we can come to your club and deliver a workshop session on this project.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC Waterways&Environment View Post
    Our understanding (which we are, with Ramblers and others) pushing DEFRA for clarity on is that applications for historic rights have to be put in by 2026, not processed. Otherwise as you say the effective deadline for some councils could have been over 20 years ago!

    Chris
    I hope you are right, I have also found it impossible to get a clear answer to this question. Common sense would dictate that the time limit should just be removed, why force people to rush claims that could be spread over a longer period and handled when a problem arises.
    "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
    Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.

  11. Default

    Thanks to everyone who volunteered to take on a stretch of river for this project - and who suggested fords/ferries etc they know (these have been noted).

    We now have volunteers on stretches of the severn, Trent, Wreake and Hamps Avon. But we still need many more - on these rivers and more! I ran through a stretch on the Trent this week and the cataloguing for Stage 1 took a couple of hours. So even if you have only a very short amount of time to spare we can make use of it! You can either take on a pre-plotted stretch of river from this map - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cp...hY&usp=sharing or chose any other stretch in the country and we'll add it!

    More details of the project here - https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/g...ric-footpaths/

  12. #12

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    Hi all new to this fab site love canoeing of all types...

    Has any one had any access issues with the River Avon in Warwickshire at all ?

    Thanks

    M

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