Will you help protect Norfolk's footpaths?

A footpath in the East Anglian countryside

For the registration of a footpath, both historical and documentary evidence is required. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Norfolk residents are being asked to help register local footpaths before the government claims them in 2026.

There are over 1,199 miles of footpaths in Norfolk that are a public right of way, all of which are at risk of being lost if they aren't registered.

The deadline for registration is January 1, 2026. All historic paths must be registered before this to be included on official maps.

There are concerns from walking groups that this is the government trying to remove the public's right to roam.

For the registration of a footpath, both historical and documentary evidence is required.

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Campaigners are registering the paths to maintain them for future generations.

Volunteers compare old and new maps to find where footpaths used to be and register them.

Norfolk footpaths

All of Norfolk's 119 miles of footpaths - Credit: Don't Lose Your Way

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Ian Mitchell, from Ramblers Norfolk, said: "This is important because we've been using these links for centuries, and they've had even more use over the last year when we've been spending more time on our doorstep.

"But the urgency comes in because historical records for footpaths won't be part of the right to roam after 2025.

"There's a lot of work to do, volunteers will use old maps to plot where rights of way are across the country."

Mr Mitchell added: "If anybody has ideas or wants to research somewhere local to them then they can contact me. And those with experience with research and old maps would be a big asset to the effort."

The Don't Lose Your Way campaign is prioritising paths that are most used and benefit the most people.

The campaign is hoping to get an extension to the 2026 deadline due to many records offices being closed over the last year.

You can help save Norfolk's footpaths and volunteer with Don't Lose Your Way using their website or by contacting Ramblers Norfolk.

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