Extend the 2026 deadline for the recording of historic footpaths & bridleways.

Extend the existing deadline of 1st January 2026 to record historic paths onto Definitive Maps (as required by the Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000) for a further 10 years until 2036. Recording a single path can take years, more time is needed to record them all, or they will be lost for ever.

This petition closed on 4 Feb 2021 with 14,140 signatures


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Recent Documents related to Extend the 2026 deadline for the recording of historic footpaths & bridleways.

1. Written Evidence: Horse Access Campaign UK (HAC UK) (AB29) (PDF)
25/02/2020 - Bill Documents

Found: assessible and inclusive network of minor roads and rights of way for equestrians , also benefitting other

2. Written Evidence: The Trails Trust (AB11) (PDF)
12/02/2020 - Bill Documents

Found: create / upgrade / preserve permanent rights of way needed to enable cohesive safe active travel networks

3. FPS/J1155/14A/9 - Decision dated 18 January 2016
02/01/2019 - Planning Inspectorate (The Planning Inspectorate)
- View source

Found: Food and Rural Affairs Decision date: 18 January 2016 Appeal Ref: FPS/ J1155 /14A/ 9

4. Historic Rights of Way
27/03/2019 - Commons Research

Found: Eren Waitzman | 27 March 2019 Historic Rights of Way QSD on 2 April 2019 This briefing identifies

5. Written Evidence: The Trails Trust (TTT) (AB14) (PDF)
24/10/2018 - Bill Documents

Found: assistance to create, upgrade and maintain rights of way and access to open space for the be nefit of

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Extend the 2026 deadline for the recording of historic footpaths & bridleways.

1. Historic Rights of Way
02/04/2019 - Grand Committee

1: that has been made in the registration of historic rights of way and of the benefits of extending the - Speech Link
2: procedural and technical problems involved in historic rights of way, so I will not talk about their value - Speech Link

2. Deregulation Bill
28/10/2014 - Grand Committee

1: (Session 2013–14) from the Joint Committee on Human Rights and 5th Report from the Delegated Powers Committee - Speech Link
2: work—no pun intended—this could result in work being lost to other countries. Indeed, one could say other - Speech Link
3: space industry, this could result in work being lost to countries outside the UK, in particular to countries - Speech Link
4: Worthington. It concerns shippers of gas.The existing regulations for gas importation and storage came - Speech Link
5: to the noble Baroness’s specific question, all existing legislation in relation to the protection of the - Speech Link
6: advised that it is not aware of any specified products ever having been removed from the lists previously. Based - Speech Link
7: he will, perhaps I may say that for more than 10 years in your Lordships’ House I was a member of the Joint - Speech Link
8: would remain subject to judicial review if it ever needed to come to that. The information will be public - Speech Link

3. Agriculture Bill
07/07/2020 - Lords Chamber

1: Government might better prioritise and adjust existing incentives within the Bill. For if that adjustment - Speech Link
2: Government might better prioritise and adjust existing incentives within the Bill. For if that adjustment - Speech Link
3: systematic thinking about the nature of our countryside. At the moment, we have a number of silos. We - Speech Link
4: encouraged by tiers 2 and 3 of ELMS; tier 1 is for single farm measures, which I understand entirely we do - Speech Link
5: finger in the pie of looking after nature in our countryside. They have been remarkably successful and I very - Speech Link

4. Active Travel
09/07/2019 - Westminster Hall

1: been a keen cyclist for many years for leisure reasons, but in recent years I have noticed a gradual but - Speech Link
2: constituency is very similar to mine: it has a lot of footpaths going across what is basically agricultural land - Speech Link
3: one of the hardest things to do in the law. Footpaths are protected, and I agree that they must remain - Speech Link
4: part of Government funding, and I would like cycle paths to be included. I am conscious that a great many - Speech Link

5. Town and Country Planning (Border Facilities and Infrastructure) (EU Exit) (England) Special Development Order 2020 (SI 2020/928)
11/02/2021 - Lords Chamber

1: urgently requires, because inland lorry parks are needed to provide food, toilets and rest facilities for - Speech Link
2: Dover, which I know quite well because I spent 15 years building the Channel Tunnel just next door to it - Speech Link

6. Deregulation Bill
03/02/2015 - Lords Chamber

1: col. 568.]It is important that we set the record straight: Professor Löfstedt is not in the least - Speech Link
2: a series of consultations during the past four years. As the noble Lord, Lord McKenzie, remarked in his - Speech Link
3: bureaucracy, representing demonstrable improvement on existing legislative requirements, and clarity and precision - Speech Link

7. Agriculture Bill
15/09/2020 - Lords Chamber

1: the last 20 years in different parts of the UK. The CROW Act 2000 created access land, rights of way improvement - Speech Link
2: a strategic approach to enhanced access through rights of way improvement plans, which need a boost. This - Speech Link

8. England Coastal Path
01/05/2019 - Westminster Hall

1: effect on landowners of the proposed England Coastal Path.May I say how nice it is to see you in the - Speech Link
2: estuary. Parliament has made clear that the coastal path legislation is about access to the coast, not to - Speech Link
3: I promoted a private Member’s Bill, the Coastal Path (Definition) Bill, the main purpose of which was - Speech Link

9. Safety of Riders and Horses on Rural Roads
04/07/2017 - Westminster Hall

1: awareness course—I was caught speeding in Bristol some years ago. During that course, I was made aware of what - Speech Link
2: that we have been doing over the past couple of years with Debbie Smith, the British Horse Society and - Speech Link
3: contributors. Obviously, I did not respond to every single one. Among the many excellent suggestions and sincere - Speech Link
4: increase in road incidents involving horses on rural single-lane carriageways are symptomatic of a wider problem - Speech Link
5: think about possible measures to strengthen the rights of riders to control their immediate environment - Speech Link

10. Agriculture Bill
10/06/2020 - Lords Chamber

1: support public access to and enjoyment of the countryside. Farmers and land managers will be rewarded for - Speech Link
2: environmental payments. That would have been a tremendous lost opportunity. This improved Bill provides better - Speech Link
3: There have been many political struggles down the years over the ownership and management of land, of which - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Extend the 2026 deadline for the recording of historic footpaths & bridleways.
1. Rights of Way: Maps
asked by: Sarah Champion
10/02/2021
... if he will extend the 2026 deadline to record historic footpaths and bridleways onto Definitive Maps.

Latest Questions

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Thousands of our historic Rights of Way, some used for centuries, are not officially mapped. If not recorded by 1st January 2026, they will be closed and lost forever. The legal process for recording a path, often done by volunteers, is time consuming and may take several years. There is not enough time left to record all our footpaths and bridleways. Our rights to walk and ride through the land are part of our national heritage, these rights should not be lost because of an arbitrary deadline.


Top 50 Constituencies by Number of Signatures

3,723 signatures - 26.0% of total

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Government Response

We are committed to protecting rights of way. The cut-off date is currently 2026 and could be extended by regulations for up to five years. We are discussing a potential extension with stakeholders.


The Government supports access to the countryside and the benefits this can bring. We are committed to protecting, enhancing and increasing our green and blue spaces, including our network of public rights of way, which are a vital part of our national heritage.

We intend to pass legislation this year to streamline the processes for recording and changing rights of way. This will make it easier and quicker for local authorities to process applications and add rights of way onto the definitive maps, protecting them for the future. As part of this we will bring into force the cut-off date which is the deadline for registering historic rights of way. This will provide certainty about where rights of way exist.

The cut-off date is currently 2026 and could be extended by regulations for a maximum of five years. There are different views on a possible extension, and we are considering this option. An earlier cut-off date will provide certainty about where rights of way exist for users and landowners, as soon as possible. A later cut-off date would allow more time for unrecorded rights of way to be recorded. We are working closely with stakeholders to understand these different views and will take them into account when reaching a decision.

The Government is also supporting and enhancing access to the countryside in other ways. We are working to complete the 2,700 mile England Coast Path that, when completed, will be the longest waymarked and maintained coastal walking route in the world. There will also be new public rights of access to areas of coastal land such as beaches, cliffs and foreshore, in many places for the first time.

We continue to support our network of National Trails and we intend to create a new National Trail across the north of England. We are also looking at how the Environmental Land Management scheme could fund improvements to access, including the creation of new paths.

Our 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our ambition to connect more people from all backgrounds with the natural environment for their health and wellbeing. We are committed to supporting people to access and enjoy outdoor spaces.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs