Wales is a beautiful country best experienced on foot. Which is why, ahead of the National Assembly for Wales elections in May 2016, Ramblers Cymru published a manifesto all about making Wales the best country in the world for walkers. This means having the best walking networks, attractive open spaces and encouraging a thriving culture of walking for everyone’s health and happiness.
But looking after our unique heritage of 20,750 miles of public footpaths, bridleways and byways which reach into every corner of Wales is a big job. Whilst the statutory duty to protect these paths rests with the highway authorities, Parliament has given important rights and powers to local councils concerning rights of way. And we know that no other authority can know the local paths as well as a local council can!
This year, Ramblers Cymru have produced a guide, Paths for people, aimed at helping local councils to protect paths in their area. The guide explains the powers of local councils relating to obstructions, ploughing and cropping, maintenance, closures and diversions and modifying the definitive map. It goes on to suggest 10 ways that councils can promote local paths.
So far, we’ve reached more than 100 local councils – and we’re delighted by the positive response we’ve seen!
We will continue building on this work in 2017, as well as engaging with the newly elected National Assembly members and the public through our Pathwatch campaign. Together, we hope to ensure that Wales’s historic and treasured path network continues to provide access to our beautiful Welsh landscapes, recreation and improved health for generations to come.
Read Paths for People now
Why not contact your local town or community council and find out if they know about Paths for People?