East Riding councillors vote to protect historic rights of way and lobby Government over 2026 registration cut-off date
Councillors have voted to protect historic public rights of way (PROW) in East Yorkshire.
A motion by Conservative Wolds Weighton Ward Councillors Leo Hammond and Mike Stathers asked the East Riding of Yorkshire Council to lobby the Government to cancel the 2026 cut-off date for the registering of historic PROW in England – created as part of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.
The current legislation will see all PROW not formally registered on the council’s definitive map dissolved post 2026.
Councillor Hammond, who proposed the motion, informed councillors that up to 49,000 miles of PROW across England were at risk under the legislation, with 634 miles potentially being lost in the East Riding.
He said: “To lose this significant mileage of PROW would be terrible, both for people who enjoy the health benefits of PROWs and for the environment, which benefits from people getting out into the countryside appreciating our nature and wildlife.”
Councillor Stathers, who seconded the motion, added: “Our ability to freely walk our countryside along ancient paths and rights of way has never been so valued by so many people as during the pandemic. These rights of way are part of our history, our heritage, and if we were to lose them now, we will never get them back.
“We must protect them for the present and for future generations.”
The motion also asks the Government for additional funding to local authorities so that councils can carry out reviews of historic PROWs in their areas so they can be registered and protected.
The council will also be launching a media campaign to highlight the need to registerhistoric PROW before 2026 to local residents and how to do so, so that their local knowledge can be used to identify these important rural routes.