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Don't Lose Your Rights of Way

At the end of 2025 all rights to use most routes that are not on the official map of rights of way or list of roads maintained by the county council will be lost. The owner will be able block the route (for example if they want to build houses on the site).  So a group of us from the Open Spaces Society, Mid Sussex Bridleways Group, Ramblers Association and other concerned organisations have started trying to get these routes put on the official map of rights of way in Sussex.

 Sometimes these routes have been out of use for many years and we need to do historical research.  But often the routes at risk of closure have been in regular use by lots of people up to the present day. You may be surprised by many of the routes at risk.  In these cases we need evidence to show that people have used the route for the at least the last 20 years as of right – without having a lease or legal agreement, or the special permission of the landowner.

 Obviously it is harder to get evidence for the earlier part of this period, so if you used a route in the 1990s this is particularly important information, but we welcome evidence for any period up to the present day.

 Below you will find details of the routes currently being researched.  In each case you will find basic details plus and evidence form for you to print off, fill in and return to us. If more than one person in your household has used the route please print off and return a form for each person.  Some of the questions may seem a bit odd.  This is because we need to meet some complicated legal conditions.  Please answer all the questions honestly, but it is ok to say “I can’t remember” or “I don’t know”.

 Please send it to the  address on the bottom of the form and you can send to that address as well if you prefer.  You can also print the form, sign it, scan it and email the scan to travelman@travelloglewes.co.uk


 ROUTES WE CURRENTLY NEED EVIDENCE FOR

 

PATHS AROUND OFFHAM CHALK PITS

 

 Probably most people who walk around Lewes have walked these paths at some point in their lives, particularly if they live on the west side of town.

But none of these paths is on the rights of way map so, in theory, any one of them could be stopped up at any time. 

So, although there is no immediate threat, the Ramblers Association is setting out to add the paths to the rights of way map by collecting evidence that they have been used by the public for the past 20 years. (since 1998)  If you have walked on some or all of these paths please fill in an evidence form.

You can find full details of the paths, an evidence form, and details where to send it here

PROGRESS ON ROUTES ALREADY APPLIED FOR

Updates will be posted here, but this is a slow process. It can take four years for the council to make a decision and then there may be a delay of a further year if someone objects and there has to be a public enquiry.  You can see on the web site of East Sussex County Council routes that the council are currently considering and what stage they are at.

SOME STORIES ABOUT PATHS FROM HISTORICAL RESEARCH

We ask for user evidence for paths that are currently in use, but another way of adding a route to the map of rights of way is to show that it was a right of way in the past and it has never been legally closed.

Here are some stories that have been discovered as part of the this research.

Folkington Follies

Rum Doings in Glynde and Glyndebourne

Just a bridge in Milton Hide

Virginia Woolf, Muggery Pope and lost rights of way

Ravilious and Co and the route to the Old Coach Road