Don’t Lose Your Way Researcher

In early 2020, thousands of people joined the search for lost paths as part of the Don’t Lose Your Way campaign. Together our volunteers discovered over 49,000 miles of unrecorded ways, which are vulnerable to being obstructed, closed, or lost to the passing of time. Now we need to save these paths, by putting together applications for them to be recorded on the official ‘Definitive Maps.’

The role of Don’t Lose Your Way Researcher is for those who are keen to engage in the process of researching, applying for, and saving these lost paths. The approach taken by researchers will vary in different areas and will be guided by a local coordinator. You could get involved with deskwork, archival research, or surveying potential lost paths on the ground, as well as supportive and administrative tasks. The role is based in your local community.

The role will require confidence using online systems to gather and share information. It will also require some initiative – while training and guidance will be available, the subject matter is complex and researchers will be expected to guide themselves to the support they need.

Downloads: Don't Lose Your Way Researcher  l  Other information: Community-based   

Location: Scotland

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More about this role

Volunteer role:  Don’t Lose Your Way Researcher  l  Volunteer manager: Team coordinator

Where you will be based: Community


Why we want you

Help us save historic rights of way. Over 140,000 miles of public rights of way crisscross England and Wales, but many of these are unrecorded. This means that they are vulnerable to obstructions, closures, or being lost to the passing of time. Don’t Lose Your Way researchers help us research, apply for, and save these paths to ensure our right to access them is protected for generations to come.

As a researcher, you’ll get involved in your local team to help with researching, applying for, and saving lost paths. This could involve finding documents in historical archives, conducting desk-based research, writing effective evidence statements, or doing administrative tasks to help other researchers in your team.


What you will be doing

  • Finding evidence for paths using archival and/or desk-based research
  • Writing and proofreading applications for paths to be registered, which are then submitted to the local authority
  • Digitising, collating and organising evidence
  • Working independently and as part of a team to make sure that the paths in your area are researched in a strategic way


The skills you need

  • Enjoy working on your own but also able to work as part of a team
  • Excellent writing skills and able to present an argument
  • Able to understand, or willing to learn about, complex rights of way and legal issues
  • Methodical with good attention to detail
  • Basic computer literacy, including using internet searches and storing files


What's in it for you

  • Develop knowledge about your local area and public rights of way
  • A flexible volunteer role that fits around your life and commitments
  • Working with a small group of fellow volunteers who are passionate about protecting access to the outdoors
  • Opportunity to have a key role in delivering a major Ramblers campaign and expanding our path network

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