In January we are launching the next stage of Don’t Lose Your Way, our ambitious campaign to put historic rights of way back on the map. Across the country there are thousands of paths which have been lost to time, which have not made it onto current maps, but over which we still have a right of way. If we don’t find and claim them by 2026 then we risk losing them forever. We’d love for members, volunteers, and members of the public in your area to get involved in helping us find, map and save these paths.

A key part of this flagship campaign is the launch of a new online platform towards the end of January; on which we would like users (Ramblers and the wider public) to compare the current OS map with historic maps and identify potential lost rights of way. Each path will then be the focus of further research to see if we can put it back on the map – we will be supporting this research as we roll out further elements of the DLYW platform (including an online document hub, and an application builder) later in 2020.

I have spent the last couple of months talking to people across England and Wales, learning and recording what’s been achieved in saving these lost paths. This has been fed into campaign planning and discussions about the mechanics of the DLYW platform and has also given me the opportunity to identify people who are coordinating efforts in their areas already.

We’ve got a lot of work to do to map these lost paths and ultimately save them. There are a number of ways volunteers can help:
We’re looking for a volunteer local coordinator – I’ve attached the role profile to this email; the role is largely about keeping one’s finger on the pulse of Don’t Lose Your Way activity in their authority area – we’re looking to have one of these in each local authority area. I’ve already been in touch with Allen Pestell and caught up on the excellent work he’s been doing, but I’d welcome other thoughts about individuals who might be keen on this role.

Promoting the campaign – with over 150,00 squares to map, we want to promote this flagship campaign as much as possible. If you could talk to your members and promote on social media that would be fantastic. We are also developing posters to publicise the campaign. These are free of charge and we will post them out to you, just let us know how many you want – we are planning to send these out in January.

We’re uncovering stories – in order to reach as many people as possible, we need to tell the stories of our lost paths, and who knows them better than all of you. If you know of a right of way which is missing from the map and has an interesting history or personal connection to you, please do let me know. These stories can be the key to national press coverage and therefore bringing thousands of more people to the campaign (and the Ramblers!)

Working together, we can ensure that our paths are protected for future generations,

Ps. If you want to find out more about the campaign, download our guide here, or just reply to this email and I’d be happy to chat through and answer any questions.

Many thanks,

Dom Tooze
Don’t Lose Your Way – Programme officer
The Ramblers
0203 961 3136 / 07799 089571

Don’t Loose Your Way Team Co-ordinator wanted for our area details on Area Website
Also details of Sheffield Ramblers 2 Don’t Loose Your Way Claims