Throughout the Chilterns we’re fortunate to have a network of well maintained footpaths and bridleways, helped in no small part by the regular monitoring and light maintenance work of our Parish Path Rep Volunteers*.
However, if you’re out walking and notice a more serious issue, the legal responsibility for rectifying any problems resides with the relevant county council, and the matter must be reported to them. Ideally making a note of precisely where the problem is located and, if possible, taking photos to assist with the reporting.
The types of public right of way (RoW) problem to be reported include:
- Poorly maintained or damaged stiles, gates, steps, or footbridges
- An obstruction such as a fallen tree, overgrown vegetation, excessive littering, fly-tipping, or excessive flooding
- Damaged or fallen waymarking posts, or a missing post (making a route difficult to follow), or inappropriate unofficial signs (discouraging access)
Blocked or diverted paths (veering from the definitive right of way).
Please note: issues with roadside pavements and cycleways need reporting via FixMyStreet.com. To report a RoW issue, please see below.
The above links will take you to the RoWG section of our online Directory.
How to report a RoW problem
Each of the county councils in the Chilterns (Beds, Bucks, Herts and Oxon) has its own online reporting system to log and track RoW problems raised by members of the public. As website links tend to change on a regular basis, we recommend you use a search engine (e.g., Google) to locate the current page by searching for: “[county] report a rights of way issue”.
A quick one-off user registration is required (per council) to allow input access to their reporting tool, and once registered an interactive map is available showing all the designated public RoWs in the county, and the unique reference id for each. The reporting tool allows the appropriate RoW to be selected and for further details of the problem to be added, including uploading photos. Once submitted, the issue will be assigned a case reference to enable progress tracking.
The council should prioritise issues and either assign their own teams or instruct voluntary organisations, such as ours, to undertake the work on their behalf. If the Society are asked to perform the work, the county council will then contact our appropriate Group Area Secretary, who will go on to liaise with one of our three Path Maintenance Volunteer* teams to schedule and undertake the work.
If the RoW problem arises in South Oxfordshire then the matter will be addressed more quickly by informing the appropriate Chiltern Society Area Secretary. Contact details and the parishes served by each Secretary are shown in our online Chiltern Society Directory, RoWG section.
* If you would like to volunteer to be a Parish Path Rep or Path Maintenance Volunteer, please contact Tracey Read on 01494 771250, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out more about Path Maintenance Volunteers by following the link below.