BERKSHIRE LOST PATHS PROJECT 2026 CUT OFF

Why?

We are looking to build a team of people across Berkshire so that we can gather the information needed to make claims for known but unrecorded paths, which might otherwise be lost.

1st January 2026 is the cut-off date for adding historic paths to what is known as the definitive map (DM), the official record of the public’s rights of way in an area.  When a path is on this map, it not only means we have a right to walk on it, but it is much easier to protect and maintain.  However, any path which came into existence before 1949 and that has not been requested to be on the map by 2026 will be lost – forever!

With just 9 years remaining, effort is now being made to seek out and document these routes in Berkshire.  Local walkers who know their areas and are familiar with their own localities are an obvious source of information about where these “lost paths” may be.  We are very interested to know if you have any old maps, letters, books or photos which show that such paths existed.

People do not need to be members of the Ramblers to be involved – just to have a passion for ensuring we do not lose any paths in Berkshire for future generations.  The necessary investigations would not only be of interest to walkers but will also appeal to those interested in local history and maps.

We need volunteers to assist in many different areas to ensure that we don't lose any potential important paths by default – to do this we need your help!  We need people to do tasks like check maps, or walk paths, or internet research, maybe visit Archives to look for historical evidence or be a parish contact if we need more information.

Perhaps you may be keen to get involved but don't feel that you have enough experience, or free time.  Don't worry, there is guidance, training and other volunteer support available, and we appreciate that some will have less time to devote to this than others.  All are welcome.

If you are interested and can offer any time on this project, please contact Heather  – email berkshirelostpathsproject@gmail.com