|Follow Naturenet on Twitter|
Discovering 'Lost Ways'
or many years since the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 set up the present-day rights of way system there has been concern that there were large numbers of unrecorded rights of way, which do not appear on any definitive map.
In an attempt to resolve the situation and bring continuing uncertainty about 'lost ways' to an end, the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 provides that footpaths and bridleways that were in existence before 1949 but not recorded on the definitive map by 1 January 2026, will be extinguished. Unrecorded higher rights that may apply to a definitive footpath, bridleway or restricted byway will also be extinguished. This will mean that anyone trying to claim such a right on the basis of pre-1949 evidence will not be able to do so from 2026.
The Government is providing funding (July 2004) to the Countryside Agency for the establishment of an efficient system of research to rediscover those historic rights of way and higher rights that have, so far, not been recorded on the definitive map.
Find out more from Natural England.