Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Search for old paths

WALKERS, riders and cyclists attended a seminar at Henley town hall to learn how to research and record lost public paths.

The event was organised by the Henley-based Open Spaces Society and Henley Town Council with experts Sarah Bucks and Phil Wadey presenting the training.

It was attended by Henley Mayor Kellie Hinton and town councillor Sarah Miller.

On January 1, 2026 the official map of public paths is to be closed to applications for the addition of routes based on historic evidence.

The society says that even if a route has not been used, if there is historic evidence that it was once a highway and it has never been legally stopped up it should be shown on the map.

General secretary Kate Ashbrook said: “It is a massive task to identify all those routes which are public highways and which must be recorded before the chance to record them is lost forever.

“We need people to form groups to share the work and co-ordinate the effort.

“For instance, each member of a group could take on a parish and research all the missing ways, or each member could look at a particular type of evidence, such as inclosure awards or tithe maps.”

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