Cirencester Ramblers

HOW DO I REPORT A PATH PROBLEM?

We’ve all come across them, whether a single strand of barbed wire stretched across the path, or a more substantial obstacle such as a newly-built barn or even a pond!  But how does the average walker go about getting these problems resolved?  We depend on walkers to spot and report these problems; it’s the easiest way to help us in our work.

Here’s how to go about it.

WHY ARE PATH PROBLEM REPORTS SO IMPORTANT? 
The most important reason for reporting path problems is, of course, to get them resolved.  Few highway authorities have the resources to carry out their own surveys of the state of the path network, so they rely on path users telling them when something has gone wrong.  Path problem reports also send an important message to authorities - that members of the public want to be able to use paths.  The more public interest that is shown in paths the more likely it is that the authority will spend money on them. 

WHAT IS A PATH PROBLEM? 
Anything that spoils your enjoyment of a walk. The selection below should give you a good idea of the type of problem that should be reported:

• Undergrowth, hedgerow encroachment, overhanging branches, or fallen trees.
• Missing or broken stiles, bridges, gates, signposts, or waymarks.
• Ploughing or cropping.
• Barbed wire, fences, rubbish, or rubble.
• Misleading notices.
• Dangerous animals.

HOW DO I REPORT A PROBLEM?
In England and Wales it's the responsibility of the local council to make sure paths and access land are open and easy for walkers to use.

The body responsible for maintaining public rights of way and keeping them free from obstruction is called the Highway Authority. In practice, this is the county council or unitary authority.

If you've spotted an obstruction you can report this directly to the Council or Authority.  Record the details of the problem, including any photos and a grid reference (click here, to find the grid reference for a location)

  • If the problem is local to Cirencester please contact Richard Holmes Footpath Secretary - see the Contacts page for details
  • If the obstruction is in Gloucestershire you can report directly to the County Council by clicking here
  • If you are unsure which county council or unitary authority to contact, go to Find a Council
  • Alternatively, you can report the problem to the Ramblers. The details will be forwarded to a local Ramblers volunteer to investigate. They'll report the issue to the correct council where necessary