Don’t Lose Your Way – Saving lost paths

We’ve found over 49,000 miles of lost paths and time is running out to save them

We've searched all of England and Wales and found over 49,000 miles of paths that could be lost forever. 

In 2023, the UK Government recently announced it would be implementing a deadline of 2031 to save the 41,000 miles of lost paths in England. After that date we will no longer be able to claim rights of way in England based on historic evidence.*

This means that any paths that are not legally recorded, and which have been historically used as a right of way, could be at risk of being lost forever.  

Time is running out to save these paths for future generations.  

A woman standing in front of a path in the woods
Archaeologist, TV presenter and supporter of Don't Lose Your Way, Mary-Ann Ochota

The map of lost paths  

With the help of thousands of supporters, we searched historic maps across the country and found over 49,000 miles of paths which could be lost forever. 

These paths have been added to our online map to help volunteers identify, prioritise and save them.  

Explore the map of lost paths


Help us save these lost paths before it is too late  

Now we know where the lost paths are, we are working on saving them. The first step is to prioritise the most important paths. Once they are prioritised, we must build an application for each path based on historical evidence.  

Saving these paths will be a long and time-consuming process. Each path application may take weeks to complete. We need as many people as possible to support us if we are to save these paths before 2031.  

three don't lose your way volunteers stand by a river showing signs supporting the campaign
Adventurer, Alastair Humphreys (right) with Ramblers team members

Help us save these lost paths:

  • Join the movement – Sign up to be the first to hear about progress on the campaign, and ways to get involved.  

  • Donate - A donation will help us develop the online map and the tools we need to build applications for lost paths.  

  • Volunteer – Help us to prioritise, apply for, and save lost paths.  

  • Support our Outdoors Unlocked campaign: The 2031 deadline for recording historic rights of way risks throwing away a fortune – so we’re campaigning to repeal it as part of our Outdoors Unlocked campaign. 

Help us get these lost paths registered before time runs out.


*The Welsh government has started the process of scrapping the deadline for recording lost paths in Wales with consultation on the draft Statute Law (Repeals) (Wales) Bill.

Outdoors unlocked

Outdoors unlocked

Our 2024 election campaign is calling for new legislation that will unlock the outdoors for all.

barbed wire and stopping walkers from path

Saving lost paths

The Ramblers Don’t Lose Your Way project identified over 49,000 miles of potential lost paths but what’s involved with saving a lost path?

DLYW map

Prioritising lost rights of way

Our Don’t Lose Your Way campaign found over 49,000 miles of paths which could be lost rights of way. Help us prioritise saving those with the greatest benefits.